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Norton Museum of Art acquires Annie Leibovitz photographs; exhibition to open January 2013
The Reverend Al Sharpton, PrimaDonna Beauty Care Center, Brooklyn, New York, 1988. © Annie Leibovitz.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL.- The Norton Museum of Art announced today that it has acquired a collection of 39 photographs by Annie Leibovitz. The Norton will organize Annie Leibovitz, an exhibition of these new acquisitions that will open January 17, 2013 through June 9, 2013.

“The Norton’s photography collection spans the entire history of the medium. Annie Leibovitz is one of the most important portrait photographers of our time and as such deserves a prominent place in our encyclopedic permanent collection,” said Charles Stainback, assistant director of the Norton Museum of Art. “The photographs we’ve chosen demonstrate the quiet power of the photograph and the vital connection between the artist and the subject—the essential element of all great portraits.” Stainback worked closely with Leibovitz to narrow down the selection to the final 39 photographs, which include a mixture of well-known and lesser-known works that range from the 1970s to the present. Both

Stainback and Leibovitz felt it was important to select a grouping that emphasized the scope of her portraiture—from her images of celebrated figures to less familiar subjects. The black-and-white and color images on view will include: American Soldiers and Mary, Queen of the Negritos, Clark Air Base, The Philippines (1968); Cindy Sherman, New York City (1992); R2-D2, Pinewood Studios, London (2000); and The Reverend Al Sharpton, PrimaDonna Beauty Care Center, Brooklyn, New York (1988). There are also iconic portraits of actors, musicians, and artists, from Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to Allen Ginsberg and Andy Warhol.

“The Norton has made a sophisticated selection,” Leibovitz said. “While there are several portraits of very famous people, they are not my most famous portraits. There are some surprises.”

“We are fortunate to have generous donors that provide us with the means to continually enhance our collection,” said Hope Alswang, director of the Norton.” We were able to acquire the Leibovitz portraits with the support of individual contributions, as well as the Norton’s special endowment funds. Ralph Norton built an incredible collection that is the basis for the Norton Museum of Art, and it is our responsibility to the community to continue to acquire great art.”

One of the most celebrated photographers of our time, Annie Leibovitz has been documenting American popular culture since the early 1970s, when her work began appearing in Rolling Stone. For nearly thirty years her photos have appeared regularly in Vanity Fair and Vogue and she has created influential advertising campaigns. A retrospective of her work from the years 1970 to 1990 was presented by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the International Center of Photography in New York. A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005 opened at the Brooklyn Museum and toured widely, including to the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Leibovitz’s most recent exhibition, Pilgrimage, opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. early this year Leibovitz is the recipient of many honors, including the rank of Commandeur in the French government's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000 and received the 2012 Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts.

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