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Irving Penn (1917–2009), known for his iconic fashion, portrait and still life images that appeared in Vogue magazine, ranks as one of the foremost photographers of the 20th century. “Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty,” the first retrospective of Penn’s work in nearly 20 years, celebrates his legacy as a modern master and reveal the full expressive range of his work.

The exhibition features work from all stages of Penn’s career—street scenes from the late 1930s, photographs of the American South from the early 1940s, celebrity portraits, fashion photographs, still lifes and more private studio images.

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum, beating its New York archrival to the punch, announced Monday what it called the first retrospective of Irving Penn's photography in nearly two decades.

"Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty," opening October 23, will feature 146 photographic prints, many of them never exhibited or even seen before, it said in a statement.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced plans for a major retrospective of Irving Penn’s photographs.

It said Friday that the exhibition will feature a promised gift of more than 150 images from The Irving Penn Foundation.

The museum’s current collection of Penn’s works consists of some 145 photographs.

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On 11 and 12 December 2014 Sotheby’s New York will present 175 Masterworks To Celebrate 175 Years Of Photography: Property from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, a single owner sale of the most significant collection of photographs in private hands today. The works to be offered date from photography’s earliest years in the 1840s to contemporary 21st Century color images and include major photographs from all of the medium’s most important practitioners including: Julia Margaret Cameron, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Gustave Le Gray, Irving Penn, August Sander, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston, among others. The collection was meticulously put together over decades by Howard Stein (1926-2011), one of photography’s greatest collectors, whose vision and keen understanding of the medium informed his purchases. Mr. Stein donated the collection to the Joy of Giving Something Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the photographic arts, which is the sole beneficiary of the sale. Highlights will be shown in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Paris prior to the full exhibition in New York. The pre-sale estimate of $13/20 million is the highest ever for a Photographs auction.

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Between 1973 and 1996 Carter Burden, a former trustee of the Morgan Library & Museum and onetime New York City councilman, assembled the greatest collection of modern American literature in private hands. In doing so, Burden revolutionized the market in modern first editions by paying record prices for copies in the best possible condition and with notable attributes such as authors’ annotations and presentation inscriptions. The depth and breadth of his holdings were truly extraordinary—spanning the twentieth century and including focused concentrations on such movements as the Lost Generation, the Beats, and the Harlem Renaissance.

Beginning in 1997, after Burden’s sudden death the previous year, his family has made a gift to the Morgan of twelve thousand volumes from his collection. Gatsby to Garp: Modern Masterpieces from the Carter Burden Collection, on view from May 20 through September 7, brings together nearly one hundred outstanding works from the collection, including first editions, manuscripts, letters, and revised galley proofs.

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This fall, Phillips will sell photographs from the Art Institute of Chicago’s illustrious collection. Works by Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston and Irving Penn will be offered during sales in October in New York and in November in London.

The Art Institute of Chicago began organizing photography exhibitions in 1900 and has been building its own collection for nearly 65 years. Ellen Sandor, Chair and Curator of the Art Institute of Chicago’s photography department, said, “In 2014 we celebrate our fortieth anniversary as a separate curatorial department and the fifth anniversary of our dedicated galleries in the Art Institute’s Modern Wing. Those two anniversaries represent continuity and change—both essential to our progress. We have spent three and a half years to assess our holdings, with a view to refining and diversifying the collection as well as better understanding the treasures that we possess. Proceeds from the sale will support future acquisitions, and we are grateful to Phillips for working with such care and consideration on this sale.”

The two sales will be complemented by an online selling exhibition in December. Highlights from the collection will go on view in New York, Chicago and London prior to the sales.

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. announced that they have acquired 100 photographs from The Irving Penn Foundation. Irving Penn, one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, revolutionized fashion photography and was also well known for his still lifes and portraits that frequently appeared in Vogue.

The recently acquired photographs include rare, mostly unpublished works from the late 1930s and 1940s, images of post-war Europe and iconic portraits of celebrated figures such as Agnes de Mille, Langston Hughes and Truman Capote. The collection also includes commercial photography, self-portraits and some of Penn’s most recognizable fashion images. Penn had donated 61 photographs, spanning from 1944 to 1986, to the Smithsonian during his lifetime. He also gifted 60 works to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 1990.

To celebrate the acquisition and the expansion of the Smithsonian’s Penn holdings, the museum will organize a touring exhibition of approximately 160 works that will open at the Smithsonian in the fall of 2015.

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The work of Irving Penn proved irresistible to a passionate collector on May 2 at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion as the famed photographer’s Harlequin Dress, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, 1950, brought $131,450 to lead Heritage Auctions’ $697,000+ Signature® Vintage & Contemporary Photography Auction. All prices quoted include 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.

“This image dates directly from the very peak period of Penn’s powers as a fashion photographer,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “It features his wife, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, herself one of the top models of the day, in a photograph that is particularly revered among Penn’s 150 cover photos for Vogue.”

Another Penn fashion photo of his wife, Woman in Dior Hat with Martini (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1952, also took the second spot in the auction’s top lots with a $56,763 finish on the day, while a vintage gelatin silver print of Edward Weston’s Pepper (No. 14), 1929, signed, dated and numbered, showed the continuing allure of the artist’s work to the tune of $50,788.

A 1980 dye destruction print of Annie Leibovitz’s John and Yoko, New York, December 8, 1980, one of the most famous rock and roll photographs ever taken, showed its enduring power amidst spirited bidding to rise to $26,290.

“Leibovitz captured this intimate moment in John and Yoko's apartment just hours before John was shot,” said Rachel Peart, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions, “and, when another example of this photograph was used on the cover of January 1981 Rolling Stone magazine commemorating the former Beatle, it became an instant classic.”

Massimo Vitali’s sweeping Chromogenic Calafuria #1774, 2002 was one of the top contemporary highlights of the day, realizing $17,925 while one of the most unexpected bright spots was O. Winston Link’s Birmingham Special, Rural Retreat, Virginia, 1957, one of the photographer’s most stirring images, which more than tripled its pre-auction estimate of $4,000+ to finish the auction at $13,145. A later print of Yousuf Karsh’s famous Winston Churchill, 1941, which realized $11,353 and Weston’s Nude, 1936 brought $10,158 to round out the auction’s top offerings.

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