Annie Leibovitz

Born 1949.
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Annie Leibovitz Biography

One of America’s most highly respected living photographers, Annie Leibovitz has been making memorable portraits of well-known figures for fifty years: a naked John Lennon cradling a fully-clothed Yoko Ono; Whoopi Goldberg gleefully submerged in a bathtub full of milk; Bruce Springsteen’s blue-jeaned backside against a backdrop of the American flag. Working extensively in both color and black and white, Leibovitz is best known for using bold tones and inventive stagings to achieve intimate portraits of her familiar subjects.

Anna Lou Leibovitz was born on October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut, to parents of Romanian- and Estonian-Jewish heritage. She took her first pictures in the Philippines, where her father, an Air Force officer, was stationed during the Vietnam War. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, studying both photography and painting. In 1969, she volunteered at a kibbutz in Israel. When she returned to San Francisco, some of her pictures were published in the nascent Rolling Stone. From 1973 to 1983, she was the magazine’s chief photographer, shooting over 100 iconic covers, going on the road with the Rolling Stones during their extravagant Tour of the Americas, and collaborating with John Lennon in a portrait a few hours before he was killed. In 1983, Leibovitz became the first contributing photographer for the revived Vanity Fair and ten years later she also began working for Vogue. In 1991, she was the second living artist and first woman to hold a solo show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Since her first solo show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York in 1983, Leibovitz has exhibited widely and her work has been acquired by many of the world’s leading art institutions, including the National Portrait Galleries in both Washington and London and the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. She is represented by Hauser & Wirth. Notable auction offerings include a large-scale portrait of Keith Haring that sold for $93,750 at Sotheby’s in 2016.

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