Annie Leibovitz (b.1949) is an American photographer celebrated for her impressive, original, and iconic portraits of a variety of celebrities. From the hundreds of photographs for Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and innumerable advertising campaigns, Leibovitz has become known as “the portraitist of the rock generation.”
Born Anna-Lou, in Westbury, Connecticut, Leibovitz enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute expecting to become a painter. After taking a night class in photography, she immediately became captivated in that medium. In 1970, while still a student, she took her first commercial assignment to photograph John Lennon for Rolling Stone. Three years later, she became the magazine’s chief photographer.
In 1991, Leibovitz had her first museum exhibition; she became the first woman and second living photographer to show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. A companion volume, Photographs: Annie Leibovitz 1970–1990, was also published in 1991. The nostalgic Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 debuted at the Brooklyn Museum in October 2006.
Leibovitz’s achievements are celebrated in the documentary film Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2009.) During a period of financial struggles, Leibovitz began working on a personal project—her photographs of the places and objects that were meaningful to her were collected in the book Pilgrimage (2011.)