Inaugural SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award to honor photographer Annie Leibovitz

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Inaugural SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award to honor photographer Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz, New York City, 2012. Photograph by Nick Rogers.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will honor photographer Annie Leibovitz with the inaugural SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award. The award celebrates the extraordinary achievements of global leaders—creators, innovators and change-makers—whose work foregrounds contemporary art as a vital and meaningful part of public life. Presented by the Modern Art Council, SFMOMA’s premier fund-raising auxiliary, this event supports the museum’s education and exhibition programs.

“We are thrilled to be honoring Annie Leibovitz, an artist who launched her outstanding career right here in our city, at the San Francisco Art Institute,” said Neal Benezra, SFMOMA director. “Her bold portraits and documentation of the social landscape help energize critical dialogue about contemporary global leaders, artists and communities. This event will celebrate Leibovitz’s important contributions, and her powerful use of the photographic medium.”

Originally from Connecticut, Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970 while she was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. After her first major assignment shooting a cover story on John Lennon, she became the magazine’s chief photographer in 1973. Throughout her work at Rolling Stone, and later at Vanity Fair and Vogue, she developed a large and distinguished body of work that encompasses many of the best-known portraits of our time.

In addition to SFMOMA’s Contemporary Vision Award, Leibovitz has been recognized with several other significant honors. She was made a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2006, received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and was given the American Society of Magazine Editors’ first Creative Excellence Award and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts, the Wexner Prize from the Wexner Center for the Arts, and was honored with the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in 2013.

The award celebration will be held at the historic Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. The evening will be chaired by Modern Art Council member Courtney C. Dallaire, and will feature a dinner and discussion with Leibovitz in conversation with a notable guest moderator. The 2015 SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award is sponsored by Phillips.

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