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8 ways to engage with Annie Leibovitz’s new exhibit at Crystal Bridges

Are you even a celebrity if you haven’t been photographed by Annie Leibovitz?

The American photographer has been documenting celebrities, musicians, political figures and everyone in between since her career kicked off the 1970s. And you don’t have to be a professional photographer to be familiar with Leibovitz’s work. Her intimate portraits are some of the most recognizable.

Leibovitz photographed the late John Lennon caressing Yoko Ono, Michael Jackson at the height of his music career, Queen Elizabeth II at her home in the United Kingdom, Caitlyn Jenner after coming out as transgender and, most recently, Rihanna with full baby bump.

This month, a collection of Leibovitz’s work, including some never-before-seen photographs, will be on display at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. On view between Sept. 16 and Jan. 29, 2024, “Annie Leibovitz at Work” will include print and digital portraits of notable figures like Cindy Sherman, Lizzo, LeBron James, Barack Obama, Rihanna, Dolly Parton and Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, according to a museum news release.

Rihanna and her baby bump grace the cover of Vogue's May issue in a red lace bodysuit.

“‘Annie Leibovitz at Work’is a bold re-examining of the artist’s practice,” Crystal Bridges Associate Curator Alejo Benedetti said in a news release. “This is Annie criss-crossing her legendary career in a deeply personal and self-reflective way in order to give a peek into her mind at work. The result is a tour de force filled to the brim with an intimacy and clarity of vision that could only come from Annie herself.” 

Admission to Crystal Bridges is free, but tickets to view the special exhibition is $12 for adults. Admission to the exhibition is free for museum members, veterans and children under the age of 18.

A self-portrait by Annie Leibovitz in Brooklyn, New York in 2017.

Following its showing at Crystal Bridges, “Annie Leibovitz at Work” will embark on a four-city tour across the country, making stops at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina; Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California; Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee and Wichita Art Museum in Wichita, Kansas.

On the exhibition’s opening night, Leibovitz will host an opening lecture, discussing her career and work in the collection. The lecture is already sold out, but the museum is offering plenty of other lectures and workshops to enjoy throughout the year.

Beyond the Lens: Teen Photography Mentorship

Teen Night on April 12, 2019, at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Perhaps one of the museum’s most intimate experiences is the Beyond the Lens: Teen Photography Mentorship program. Open to teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19, the free program gives participants the opportunity to meet Leibovitz during the exhibition’s opening weekend, gain mentorship from industry professionals and ultimately curate their own showcase at the museum. No photography experience is required.

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