Irving Penn archives

Inclusive Dates: 
circa 1924–2005

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

94 linear feet (187 boxes), 1 oversize portfolio, 9 portfolios, flatfile materials and 1 tube of material consisting of the studio archives of photographer Irving Penn, including business and personal correspondence, accounting ledgers, darkroom diaries, contracts, travel diaries and other travel records, manuscripts of published and unpublished writings, and a tearsheet record of his work for publisher Condé Nast. Portions of this collection are closed to researchers until fifteen years after Penn's death (2024).

Biographical Historical Note

Irving Penn (1917-2009) was an American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still lifes.  He is one of the leading photographers of the twentieth century.

Additional Notes

This extensive collection is jointly held by the Ryerson and Burnham Archives and the Department of Photography at the Art Institute. The Ryerson and Burnham Archives oversee the professional and business papers. The Department of Photography houses both the photographic archive, including contact sheets, test prints and negatives, and a large collection of master prints.