An American photographer in Moscow. (Will Englund)

Leibovitz was in Moscow for the opening of her photography show “Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990–2005.” The exhibit has been going around the globe since it opened in Brooklyn in 2006, offering a mix of her glossy celebrity portraits with homey shots of family and friends.

The bridge between the two worlds, naturally, was Susan Sontag, the author and social critic with whom Leibovitz was in a committed relationship. Sontag died in late 2004.

Leibovitz said she feels uncomfortable about some of the photos now. “But they were of the moment,” as she put it, and she decided to be true to that moment.

The exhibit was arranged by the U.S. Embassy as a part of an effort to showcase American culture in Russia. Leibovitz said she was humbled to be in the same museum as the painter Wassily Kandinsky and proud to be shown in a country that has only recently come to recognize photography as a genuine art form.


“Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rob Besserer, Cumberland Island, Georgia, 1990.” (© Annie Leibovitz From Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005)

“My brother Philip and my father, Silver Spring, Maryland, 1988.” (© Annie Leibovitz From Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005)