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.
“‘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.
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
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.
Registration for the mentorship program is free and available online at crystalbridges.org/teen-photography-mentor-program/. The registration deadline is Sept. 15.
Studio 55+: Portrait Photography with Meredith Mashburn
Northwest Arkansas commercial photographer Meredith Mashburn is leading an eight-week course designed for folks 55 and over, interested in tapping into their creative side. Throughout the course, participants will learn how to use a digital camera, process digital data and connect with subjects in front of the lens. The course runs from Sept. 11 to Oct. 30.
The course is a part of Crystal Bridges’ Creative Aging program, giving older adults the opportunity to work alongside professional artists to support their creativity, self-expression and community.
Tickets are $150, which include all of the supplies needed. However, participants are encouraged to bring their own smartphone, digital camera, tablet or other device with a camera. Registration is available online at bit.ly/3OZI9HW.
Associate Curator Benedetti is leading gallery talks, diving into the behind the scenes of Leibovitz’s work, on Thursday, Sept. 21, Thursday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Dec. 14 between 1-1:45 p.m. Gallery talks are free with an exhibition ticket.
Art by the Glass: Photography Collage with Leah Grant
Multimedia artist Leah Grant is leading a photography collage workshop at the museum on Friday, Sept. 22 from 6-8 p.m. Participants will learn collaging techniques and will leave with their own piece of work.
Based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Grant has a background in printmaking, but also works in photography, writing, audio and video with local organizations and museums to facilitate community events, according to her artist statement.
Tickets are $30, which include all of the necessary supplies. Registration is available online at bit.ly/3EkwsXo. Light appetizers and one glass of beer or wine are provided with a ticket.
Kicking off with learning how to make a specialty cocktail from a master mixologist, Crystal Bridges’ cocktail tours provide an intimate experience for art lovers. Cocktail tours of “Annie Leibovitz at Work” will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.
Tickets are $20. Registration is available online at crystalbridges.org/calendar/annie-leibovitz/.
Adult Workshop: Cyanotype Self-Portraits with Briseida Ochoa
Visual artist Briseida Ochoa is hosting an alternative photography processes workshop, centered around self-portraiture, on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 1-4 p.m. Each participant will capture their own self portrait and then print a cyanotype photo. One of the oldest photographic printing methods, cyanotypes’ distinct feature is its shade of cyan blue, a result of exposure to ultraviolet light.
Based in Bentonville, Ochoa was born and raised in the sister cities of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua in Mexico. Much of Ochoa’s work is centered around photography, printmaking and photography.
Tickets are $55, which include all necessary supplies. Registration is available online at bit.ly/3L299pa.
Photographer Talk: Kat Wilson
Northwest Arkansas portrait photographer Kat Wilson is hosting a free, public conversation about the process of studio photographing, offering insights about “Annie Leibovitz at Work.”
Wilson is popularly recognized for her theatrical portraits. She gained national attention early on in her career with her photo series, “Habitats,” where she photographed individuals and families during the pandemic quarantine.
Art by the Glass: Embroidering Vintage Photography with Jan Waldon
Multimedia Arkansas artist Jan Waldon is inviting folks to combine the old with the new in her workshop on Friday, Oct. 13 from 6-8 p.m. Each participant will learn how to embroider colorful designs onto vintage photographs.
Tickets are $30 and all the materials are provided. Registration is available online at bit.ly/3QWZOCV. Light appetizers and one glass of beer or wine are provided with a ticket.
Who is Annie Leibovitz?
Leibovitz established her importance as a celebrity photographer in the ’70s, while working as the chief photographer for “Rolling Stone” at just 22 years old. During this time, she created photos like the one of Lennon and Ono and created other iconic portraits with celebrities like Meryl Streep, Stevie Nicks and Madonna.
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Leibovitz expanded her repertoire, photographing for publications like “Vanity Fair” and “Vogue.” In 1991, she became the first female photographer to have a solo exhibition, “Annie Leibovitz Photographs 1970-1990,” at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.
Leibovitz has received countless honors, including lifetime achievement awards from the International Center of Photography and the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris, according to a Crystal Bridges’ news release. She has also been designated a living legend by the Library of Congress.
Greta Cross is the trending topics reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow her on X and Instagram @gretacrossphoto. Story idea? Email her at email@example.com.