21 May — 19 September, 2010

Annie Leibovitz

A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005

I don’t have two lives. This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it. – Annie Leibovitz.


The Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949) exhibition A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005, will draw together for the first time the well-known assignments and rarely-seen personal work of one of the world’s best-known portrait photographers.

iconic images of famous public figures

With approximately 200 photographs, the exhibition shows iconic images of famous public figures together with personal photographs of her family and close friends. Arranged chronologically, they project a unified narrative of the artist’s private life against the backdrop of her public image.

The exhibition features Leibovitz’s portraits of well-known figures, including actors such as Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt and Scarlett Johansson as well as artists such as Richard Avedon, Matthew Barney, Brice Marden, Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman. Highlights include the nude portrait of Demi Moore, due to give birth shortly, which graced the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991, a very radical photograph at the time.

Featured assignment work includes searing reportage from the siege of Sarajevo in the early 1990s and the election of Hillary Clinton to the US Senate. There are also landscapes taken in Monument Valley in the American West and in Wadi Rum in the Jordanian desert.

At the heart of the exhibition, Annie Leibovitz’s personal photography documents scenes from her life, including the birth and childhood of her three daughters, and vacations, reunions, and rites of passage with her parents, her extended family and close friends.

One of the most celebrated photographers of our time, Annie Leibovitz has been making witty, powerful images documenting American popular culture since the early 1970s, when her work began appearing in Rolling Stone Magazine. She became the magazine’s chief photographer in 1973, and ten years later began working for Vanity Fair, and then Vogue, creating a legendary body of work, in addition to her magazine work and influential advertising campaigns.

Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 is a Brooklyn Museum exhibition, curated by Charlotta Kotik, Curator Emerita of Contemporary Art.