Through the acquisition of these works by Irvin Penn, the Fondation Etrillard aimed to enhance the historical collection of the MEP, which has a policy of investing in living artists. Several Irving Penn series were already well represented in the MEP collection, but others were insufficient or absent. For example, some of Irving Penn's earliest photographs were lacking, including several rare vintages, taken between 1939 and 1945 in New York, the southern United States, Mexico, and Italy at the end of the war. They reflect his early interest in vernacular subjects and the documentary style of the era. The portraits joining the MEP collection include a rare group of what is known as the ‘corner’ portraits, which feature icons such as Edith Piaf, Elsa Schiaparelli and Le Corbusier with original staging by Penn. The Fondation Etrillard’s aim was to enrich the MEP collection with the works by an artist who perpetuates the pictorial tradition.
Le Courbusier, Irving Penn