Come to the Wexner Center this fall to explore the work of photographer Annie Leibovitz in an exhibition that fills all our galleries. Leibovitz’s large and distinguished body of work encompasses some of the most well-known portraits of our time. She began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her pictures have appeared regularly on magazine covers and in numerous publications ever since.
Leibovitz has chosen three discrete components for the show. The first, the Master Set, consists of 156 images she selected a few years ago as the definitive edition of her work, drawn from the thousands of professional assignments she has had over the years and augmented by more personal images of her family. An exploded snapshot of American public life over the past four decades, the Master Set offers portraits of the people we were talking about, the people whose work brought us pleasure, the people we admired or possibly did not. It extends a powerful invitation to come face to face with who we were. The Wexner Center is the first institution to have the opportunity to exhibit the Master Set as a whole.
Also on view are images from the Pilgrimage project, featuring a series of photographs of interiors, landscapes, and talismanic objects attached to historical figures—Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Annie Oakley, and Elvis Presley, among others. Finally, a special lobby display features portraits and related working prints taken by Leibovitz of artists who have appeared at the Wex over the years. We hope that this collection summons many memories for Wexner Center visitors—helping them recall, through Leibovitz’s visual genius, the gifts these artists have brought to this community.
Organized by the Wexner Center.
Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimageorganized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Bernie Stadiem Endowment Fund provided support for the exhibition. The C. F. Foundation of Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.
This event is presented in conjunction with the 200Columbus bicentennial celebrations, honoring the creative spirit of Columbus.
Annie Leibovitz was born on October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut. Her father was an officer in the Air Force and her childhood was spent on a succession of military bases. She began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her pictures have appeared regularly on magazine covers ever since. Leibovitz’s large and distinguished body of work encompasses some of the most well-known portraits of our time.
Leibovitz’s first major assignment was for a cover story on John Lennon. She became Rolling Stone’s chief photographer in 1973, and by the time she left the magazine, ten years later, she had shot one hundred and forty-two covers and published photo essays on scores of stories, including her memorable accounts of the resignation of Richard Nixon and of the 1975 Rolling Stones tour. In 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social landscape. At Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, she developed a large body of work—portraits of actors, directors, writers, musicians, athletes, and political and business figures, as well as fashion photographs—that expanded her collective portrait of contemporary life. In addition to her editorial work, she has created several influential advertising campaigns, including her award-winning portraits for American Express and the Gap. She has also collaborated with many arts organizations. Leibovitz has a special interest in dance, and in 1990 she documented the creation of the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris.
Several collections of Leibovitz’s work have been published. They include Annie Leibovitz: Photographs (1983); Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970–1990 (1991); Olympic Portraits (1996); Women (1999), in collaboration with Susan Sontag; American Music(2003); A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005 (2006); Annie Leibovitz at Work (2008), a first-person commentary on her career; and Pilgrimage (2011). Exhibitions of Leibovitz’s work have appeared at museums and galleries all over the world, including the National Portrait Gallery and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; the National Portrait Gallery in London; the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
Leibovitz is the recipient of many honors. In 2006 she was decorated a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. The previous year, in a compilation of the forty top magazine covers of the past forty years by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), she held the top two spots (#1 for the photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken for Rolling Stone the day Lennon was shot, and #2 for the pregnant Demi Moore in Vanity Fair). In 2009, she received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award, ASME’s first Creative Excellence Award, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London. She was the recipient of the 2012 Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts. Leibovitz has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She lives in New York with her three children, Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle.
$8 general public
$6 senior citizens (65 and older), and Ohio State faculty and staff (with BUCK ID)
Free for Wexner Center members, college students with ID, and anyone under 18. All visitors are admitted to the exhibitions for free on Thursdays after 4 PM and on the first Sunday of each month; also free a ticket to any same-day Wexner Center event.
Wexner Center members can visit the Annie Leibovitz exhibition as many times as they like, with free admission every time. Join when you come to the show, and we'll credit your admission toward your membership.
MADE POSSIBLE BY
Bailey Cavalieri LLC
The Jerome M. Kobacker Fund
Michael and Rhonda Murnane
Time Warner Cable
GENERAL SUPPORT FOR THE WEXNER CENTER
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council