UBS Commissions Annie Leibovitz to Photograph Notable Women for Portrait Series

Annie Leibovitz, Annie Leibovitz with her children, Sarah, Susan and Samuelle, Rhinebeck, New York, 2015. ©ANNIE LEIBOVITZ

Annie Leibovitz, Annie Leibovitz with her children, Sarah, Susan and Samuelle, Rhinebeck, New York, 2015.


The Swiss bank UBS announced today that it will commission the photographer Annie Leibovitz to do portraits of notable women. The new works will be a continuation of her 1999 series “Women,” shown first at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and will join the 35,000 other pieces that form the firm’s art collection.

In January, in a show also titled “Women,” the new photographs will make their first appearance in London before traveling to Tokyo, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York, and Zurich over the following 12 months. The exhibition will be free of charge to the public.

Leibovitz’s 1999 “Women” photographs include portraits of Louis Bourgeois, Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Gloria Steinem. “I’m very moved by the sense of dignity these women have,” Leibovitz said in 1999, noting that the subjects of these works show “how we look and what we do.”

Though the subjects of the new commissions have yet to be announced, UBS’s PR firm told ARTnews that the women in these photographs will be “notable.” The new “Women” portraits will document the ways that women’s roles are changing in a society where feminism has recently come to the forefront.

“We are delighted to announce this special partnership with Annie Leibovitz,” Johan Jervøe, the global chief marketing officer for UBS, said. “Throughout her career Annie has captured the pulse and tenor of contemporary life, creating unique, personal and insightful portraits that have become her trademark. This exhibition will celebrate women affecting positive change. We want to enable as many people as possible to see and respond to this thought-provoking series and to be inspired to fulfill their own creative practice.”

UPDATE 10/28/2015, 4:15 p.m.: UBS announced today that the new portraits' first stop will be at London's Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. The photographs will be on view from January 16 to February 7, 2016, and will include such subjects as Misty Copeland, Gloria Steinem, Alice Waters, Serena and Venus Williams, Jane Goodall, and Amy Schumer. Leibovitz unveiled the first of the new photographs today—an image of the artist with her three daughters.

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