Irving Penn: A Career in Photography. Edited by by Colin Westerbeck. Contributions by Rosamond Bernier, Edmund Carpenter, Colin Eisler, Martin Harrison and Issey Miyake. Art Institute of Chicago/Bulfinch/Little, Brown and Co., New York, 1997. 192 pp. Large quarto (10 x 12.5 in./25.5 x 31 cm.) First edition. Inscribed on title page, 'To___/Iriving Penn/New York, 1997'. Clothbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. Black-and-white and color reproductions.
"The occasion that inspired this retrospective of one of the century's most captivating and stylish photographers is Penn's donation of his professional archives and a hand-picked collection of his work to the Art Institute of Chicago. This is cause for celebration, and Westerbeck, the museum's curator of photography, and his contributors, including former Vogue editor Rosamond Bernier and anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, who represent the two extremes of Penn's photographic universe, explain why in their essays. In his fashion photographs, Penn combines glamour and wit; in his portraits of artists and writers (the series of such notables as Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, and Georgia O'Keeffe wedged into a cleverly constructed corner set are especially compelling), Penn reveals both the drama and the danger of the creative life; in his nudes, he discovers the body's eternal mystery; in his portraits of New Guinea tribesmen, he further explores the body as sculpture, attire as art. Even when Penn casts his eyes on something as classic as a tulip, or as commercial as cosmetics, he makes magic"--Booklist