Doctor of Arts

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970, while still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Since then, her pictures have captured a broad spectrum of subjects, celebrating diversity and strength as well as beauty and celebrity. Leibovitz’s oeuvre encompasses some of the best-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 10 years later, she had shot 142 covers and published scores of photo essays, including memorable accounts of the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon and the 1975 Rolling Stones concert tour. Subsequently, at Vanity Fair and later at Vogue, Leibovitz 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 depiction of contemporary life. She has created influential advertising campaigns and collaborated with many arts organizations. Leibovitz has a special interest in dance and, in 1990, documented the creation of the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris.

Her many published collections include Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970– 1990; Olympic Portraits; Women, in collaboration with Susan Sontag; and Annie Leibovitz at Work, a first-person commentary on her career. Exhibitions of her work have appeared in museums and galleries worldwide. In 2016–2017, the installation Women: New Portraits was presented in 10 major cities on three continents.

Leibovitz was made a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2006. She has received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London, and has been designated a Living Legend by the U.S. Library of Congress.