Home » A+E » The Wexner Center for the Arts captures Annie Leibovitz’s ‘Master Set’

The Wexner Center for the Arts captures Annie Leibovitz’s ‘Master Set’

Courtesy of Annie Leibovitz

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For the first time, Annie Leibovitz’s “Master Set” of her most coveted photography will be shown in its entirety. The Wexner Center for the Arts’ fall exhibition is slated to host a full gallery dedicated to Leibovitz beginning Saturday.

In addition to the “Master Set” is “Pilgrimage,” a collection of landscapes and intimate images, and a push-pin wall of photographs taken by Leibovitz of artists that have shown work at the Wexner Center or have won the Wexner Prize.

The Wexner Prize is a $50,000 award which “recognizes living artists working in any medium or discipline whose achievements reflect bold originality, innovation and creative excellence,” according to the Wexner Center’s website.

“It’s a massive exhibition of more than 200 pieces, with 156 of the images included in (Leibovitz’s) “Master Set” covering a 40-year span,” said Karen Simonian, director of media and public relations for the Wexner Center.

The images in the “Master Set” were hand picked by Leibovitz in 2009, according to a press release.

Deemed a living legend by the Library of Congress, Leibovitz is arguably one of the most well-known and the most famous living artists the Wexner Center has ever shown, Simonian said.

Although students might not immediately recognize her name, chances are, most students have encountered Leibovitz’s images during their lifetime, Simonian added.

“I think they will be bowled over by the array of photos from so many professional fields. From the arts to athletics, politics, fashion. Her work is a look back into our American history,” Simonian said.

The “Master Set” includes many recognizable celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Michael Jordan, John Lennon and some stars from the 1960s and 1970s.

“Pilgrimage,” a set of 64 photographs taken between April 2009 and May 2011, was organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Included in “Pilgrimage” are landscapes, personal and intimate spaces of iconic figures in history and belongings attached to historical persons such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Elvis Presley and Annie Oakley.

The third part of the exhibition is an informal display of artists Leibovitz photographed who have been associated with the Wexner Center in the past through exhibitions or as past recipients of the Wexner Prize. Leibovitz is the latest recipient of the award and will accept the prize on Nov. 10. In accepting the award, she will join previous winners such as filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee and sculptor Louise Bourgeois.

Samantha Collins, a third-year in fine arts and front desk assistant at the Wexner Center, said many people are looking forward about seeing the exhibit.

“It’s not just Columbus interested in the exhibit,” Collins said. “There are a lot of people excited about it.”

Simonian said she also expects the first-time exhibition of “Master Set” to attract a lot of attention not just locally and regionally, but nationally as well.

Within the halls of Wexner Center, there is a buzz of anticipation for the exhibition’s arrival.

“I think everyone that works here is very excited about it, I know I am,” said Susan Hyde, a member of house management at the Wexner Center.

A free party for students is scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday at the Wexner Center, the day before the opening day of the exhibition.

The exhibition is free for students, Wexner Center members and those under 18. Tickets are available for $8 for the general public and $6 for senior citizens and Ohio State faculty and staff. The exhibition is scheduled to run until Dec. 30.

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