The late American photographer Irving Penn may be best remembered for his fashion photography: his work was featured on approximately 150 Vogue covers, beginning in 1943. In addition to his fashion photography, Penn is also known for his compelling portraits of celebrities and ordinary people alike, as well as for his still lifes. His unique use of plain backgrounds with side lighting makes many of Penn's portraits instantly recognizable.
An internationally exhibited artist, Penn's work has been shown at a number of very prestigious museums and galleries including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In 1995, Penn donated his archive to the Art Institute of Chicago, making it one of the leading sources for Penn's photographs as well as material about his life and career.