Annie Leibovitz: American Music

New York

23 April — 28 May 2004

Press Release

“I started out as a photographer at Rolling Stone more than twenty-five years ago”, Leibovitz says, “ and I wanted to go back to the subject of music with a mature eye. Bring my experience to it … make it a real American tapestry.”

From juke joints to Graceland, Leibovitz traveled through the landscape of blues, gospel, jazz, country and rock. Her subjects include the American icons B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Miles Davis, Tony Bennett, Pete Seeger, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, and many relatively obscure musicians such as Othar Turner, R.L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill and Irma Thomas. Although mostly shot between 1999 and 2000, some were taken in the early 1970’s when Leibovitz became Rolling Stone magazine’s chief photographer.

Leibovitz’s photographs of musicians have become signature images that vividly capture the artists behind the music. Her ability to portray each subject’s personality with her own distinct flair continues to set her work apart from other portrait artists.

Annie Leibovitz (born 1949) is widely admired for her portraits of celebrities which have been appearing on major magazine covers for nearly 30 years. Her name is associated in particular with the legendary beginnings of Rolling Stone magazine, whose staff she joined while still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, and with Vanity Fair. In addition to her magazine work, Leibovitz has accepted many commissions. She has produced prize-winning advertising campaigns for American Express and The Gap and was appointed the official portrait photographer for the World Cup Games in Mexico in 1985.

Ms. Leibovitz is a recipient of the American Society of Magazine Photographer’s awards for Best Photograph and Photographer of the Year, and of the International Center of Photography Photographer of the Year Award. With her first museum show in 1991, Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970 – 1990, Leibovitz became the first woman ever to be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. The show traveled internationally through 1997.