American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz was born in 1949 Connecticut.
In 1970 she starting working as a photographer at Rolling Stone magazine, within three years she was named as the magazine’s Chief Photographer; by 1983 she had moved to Vanity Fair. During this decade other artists, notably Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier-Bresson, influenced Leibovitz.
Significant milestones for the photographer include accompanying The Rolling Stones on their Tour of Americas ’75; the 1991 iconic image of the then-pregnant actress Demi Moore, and her portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Her work began to be exhibited in galleries and museums. In 1991 the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. mounted over 200 colour, and black and white works, an accompanying book was published, Photographs: Annie Leibovitz 1970-1990.
Between 2009 and 2011 Leibovitz diversified her personal work in Pilgrimage, a very personal project. She decided to choose subjects that meant something to her individually, whether they are literal views of living spaces, sole objects, or landscapes.
Video: Times Talks with Annie Leibovitz (Youtube)
The musician John Lennon and the performance artist Yoko Ono married in 1969. It was one of the most talked about relationships of the time, not least because many fans of the Beatles blamed Yoko for the break up of the band.
In 1980, the magazine Rolling Stone commissioned this portrait. This celebrated photograph, taken by Annie Leibovitz in the couple’s Manhattan apartment, suggests more than just two lovers. Its poignancy is in Lennon’s nakedness and the vulnerability of his foetal curl as he plants a tender kiss on Yoko’s cheek.
Five hours later, Lennon had been shot dead by a fan.
National Portrait Gallery