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Women

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The photographs by Annie Leibovitz in Women, taken especially for the book, encompass a broad spectrum of subjects: a rap artist, an astronaut, two Supreme Court justices, farmers, coal miners, movie stars, showgirls, rodeo riders, socialites, reporters, dancers, a maid, a general, a surgeon, the First Lady of the United States, the secretary of state, a senator, rock star The photographs by Annie Leibovitz in Women, taken especially for the book, encompass a broad spectrum of subjects: a rap artist, an astronaut, two Supreme Court justices, farmers, coal miners, movie stars, showgirls, rodeo riders, socialites, reporters, dancers, a maid, a general, a surgeon, the First Lady of the United States, the secretary of state, a senator, rock stars, prostitutes, teachers, singers, athletes, poets, writers, painters, musicians, theater directors, political activists, performance artists, and businesswomen. "Each of these pictures must stand on its own," Susan Sontag writes in the essay that accompanies the portraits. "But the ensemble says, So this what women are now -- as different, as varied, as heroic, as forlorn, as conventional, as unconventional as this."


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The photographs by Annie Leibovitz in Women, taken especially for the book, encompass a broad spectrum of subjects: a rap artist, an astronaut, two Supreme Court justices, farmers, coal miners, movie stars, showgirls, rodeo riders, socialites, reporters, dancers, a maid, a general, a surgeon, the First Lady of the United States, the secretary of state, a senator, rock star The photographs by Annie Leibovitz in Women, taken especially for the book, encompass a broad spectrum of subjects: a rap artist, an astronaut, two Supreme Court justices, farmers, coal miners, movie stars, showgirls, rodeo riders, socialites, reporters, dancers, a maid, a general, a surgeon, the First Lady of the United States, the secretary of state, a senator, rock stars, prostitutes, teachers, singers, athletes, poets, writers, painters, musicians, theater directors, political activists, performance artists, and businesswomen. "Each of these pictures must stand on its own," Susan Sontag writes in the essay that accompanies the portraits. "But the ensemble says, So this what women are now -- as different, as varied, as heroic, as forlorn, as conventional, as unconventional as this."

30 review for Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I recently reviewed Lauren Greenfield's 2017 collection of photographs focusing on a range of girls in contemporary American society: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... It's not all-inclusive, of course, but it reveals a range of what it might mean to be a "girl" now. Celebrity (in two senses) photographer Annie Leibowitz in 1999 compiled a collection of photographs of women (and some girls) in 1999 to some fanfare. With an essay by Susan Sontag. I read it when it came out. It bears some comp I recently reviewed Lauren Greenfield's 2017 collection of photographs focusing on a range of girls in contemporary American society: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... It's not all-inclusive, of course, but it reveals a range of what it might mean to be a "girl" now. Celebrity (in two senses) photographer Annie Leibowitz in 1999 compiled a collection of photographs of women (and some girls) in 1999 to some fanfare. With an essay by Susan Sontag. I read it when it came out. It bears some comparison to Greenfield's collection, which features fewer celebrities and more problematic (strippers, prostitutes, party girls) representations of females, but in general, the two collections share a resemblance in the range of women they represent. An update on the Leibowitz collection in January 2017: https://www.ubs.com/microsites/annie-... Of course there are many collections of photographs of women, if you wanted to make a study of all the studies: Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon's Women in the Mirror, Sally Mann, Cindy Sherman.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Zanna

    In advanced consumer societies, these 'narcissistic' values are more and more the concern of men as well. But male primping never loosens the lock on initiative taking. Indeed, glorying in one's appearance is an ancient warrior's pleasure, an expression of power, an instrument of dominance.Sontag's essay for this book moves restlessly over the surface of its subject, opening cans of worms and leaving them to wriggle uncomfortably into our consciousness, leaving a impression of something well-beg In advanced consumer societies, these 'narcissistic' values are more and more the concern of men as well. But male primping never loosens the lock on initiative taking. Indeed, glorying in one's appearance is an ancient warrior's pleasure, an expression of power, an instrument of dominance.Sontag's essay for this book moves restlessly over the surface of its subject, opening cans of worms and leaving them to wriggle uncomfortably into our consciousness, leaving a impression of something well-begun but half-done. Perhaps this is the intention: 'Men, unlike women, are not a work in progress'. The profoundly felt absence is, as Sontag says, justice for women. While she discusses attractiveness and the male gaze, her remarks really only consider White woman-ness. When she describes the threatening aspect of female sexuality, beauty-as-femininity and masculinity-as-strength, there is no attempt to consider how Black, Latina, Asian etc women's (and men's) sexualities are constructed against the White feminine ideal as deviant, which is disappointing in a book that features many Black women. 'In a few countries where men have mobilised for a war against women, women scarcely appear at all. The imperial rights of the camera - to gaze at, to record, to exhibit anyone, anything - are an exemplary feature of modern life, as is the emancipation of women'This casual identification with the 'imperial'(!) freedom of the camera to gaze on the other with woman-emancipation is ill at ease with the first sentence. To me it seems odd that she mentions women outside America, where the entire photography project was conducted, while neglecting the fraught issues of race (and social class and even celebrity) that Leibovitz seems to have considered in choosing her subjects. Images of the Williams sisters, Jamaica Kincaid watering her garden wearing a frown that resists reading, and a beautiful Yoruba woman with her children carrying themselves proudly on a beach in Florida bear the ongoing history of racism. The White women here have felt themselves human in front of Leibovitz, whatever Sontag says; their faces declare it. In contrast, the Black women never gaze back carelessly at the White woman holding the camera, but resist her, fend off the 'imperial' gaze. Maybe I am only projecting here. Among all the images of actresses and politicians off-duty, and astronauts, athletes and miners in their uniforms, Leibovitz has made the decision to depict three 'showgirls' in their work-wear alongside their everyday selves, in both modes as it were. This sudden doubling perhaps anticipates and cuts off narrow assumptions about these women and presents questions about the experience of performance, but if showgirls can only become human outside their costumes, the status quo (fear of female sexuality, the whorephobic aspect of misogyny) stands unchallenged. The disruption fails to awaken critical consciousness to the fact that every appearance before the camera must be performative, lulling us back into passive consumption. Not that this isn't an enjoyable book, but in so far as it moves me to speak it calls on me to be combative!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. sontag's essay is a stand up and shout experience. a rally for justice and exploration into the why's of gender and inequality. her main point being that a book of portraits of men portrayed in similar array and profession would be useless and pointless. a quick read that reminds me why I'm here to be a woman. and then there are the portraits of Leibovitz... sontag's essay is a stand up and shout experience. a rally for justice and exploration into the why's of gender and inequality. her main point being that a book of portraits of men portrayed in similar array and profession would be useless and pointless. a quick read that reminds me why I'm here to be a woman. and then there are the portraits of Leibovitz...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    There's this part where, in her essay, Susan Sontag says: "In many countries struggling with failed or discredited attempts to modernize, there are more and more covered women." I made this face and then flipped through the book and found only one girl wearing a niqab, and that was it. Out of 240 pages... Other than that, the essay wasn't something I hadn't read before somewhere else, but I really liked this paragraph: "I do this, I endure this, I want this . . . because I am a woman. I do that There's this part where, in her essay, Susan Sontag says: "In many countries struggling with failed or discredited attempts to modernize, there are more and more covered women." I made this face and then flipped through the book and found only one girl wearing a niqab, and that was it. Out of 240 pages... Other than that, the essay wasn't something I hadn't read before somewhere else, but I really liked this paragraph: "I do this, I endure this, I want this . . . because I am a woman. I do that, I endure that, I want that . . . even though I'm a woman. Because of the mandated inferiority of women, their condition as a cultural minority, there continues to be a debate about what women are, can be, should want to be. Freud is famously supposed to have asked, "Lord, what do women want?" Imagine a world in which it seems normal to inquire, "Lord, what do men want?" . . . but who can imagine such a world?” I've been flipping through a lot of photography books in my self-allotted breaks at the library (along with the fact that I've always loved photography) so I was really blown away by all of these photographs. The most impactful portraits are the least-expected ones. I loved all of these. Especially the one of mother Patti.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Checked this out to read Sontag's essay and compare it to her comments on the writers of essays in photography books that she made in "On Photography." I would say that Sontag's essay was disappointing but it was pretty much typical Sontag so I guess that would be redundant. The essay was mostly a whinge about the patriarchy and how women have been kept down and so on. While these are certainly extremely important topics, they have been covered far better in many other places. Heck, I would even Checked this out to read Sontag's essay and compare it to her comments on the writers of essays in photography books that she made in "On Photography." I would say that Sontag's essay was disappointing but it was pretty much typical Sontag so I guess that would be redundant. The essay was mostly a whinge about the patriarchy and how women have been kept down and so on. While these are certainly extremely important topics, they have been covered far better in many other places. Heck, I would even expect Sontag to cover them better in a different venue. But in a book of photographs celebrating the late 20th century--mostly American--woman, womanhood, and the diversity of such, the essay was not only misplaced but wrong as an accompaniment to the photographs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zöe

    I checked out this book for Susan Sontag's essay, but it feels like superficial. I like all the issues she mentioned in the essay, but it seems itself as a bigot. Also, the design of the book I don't like it. Because not all the name tags are under the photographs, so I have to look for which one fits which photograph. Very annoying. I checked out this book for Susan Sontag's essay, but it feels like superficial. I like all the issues she mentioned in the essay, but it seems itself as a bigot. Also, the design of the book I don't like it. Because not all the name tags are under the photographs, so I have to look for which one fits which photograph. Very annoying.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Catarina Lobo

    SS: women’s libidinousness is always being repressed or held against them.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Powells.com

    Annie Leibovitz got her start at Rolling Stone in the early seventies. There she made a name for herself and produced some of the publication's most well-known photographs, including the famous shot of a naked John Lennon wrapping himself around a fully clothed Yoko Ono. She went on to become the chief photographer for Vanity Fair, and has been exhibited in scores of art galleries, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Leibovitz's style appears comfortable and ingenuous, to t Annie Leibovitz got her start at Rolling Stone in the early seventies. There she made a name for herself and produced some of the publication's most well-known photographs, including the famous shot of a naked John Lennon wrapping himself around a fully clothed Yoko Ono. She went on to become the chief photographer for Vanity Fair, and has been exhibited in scores of art galleries, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Leibovitz's style appears comfortable and ingenuous, to the point of being effortless. And yet, she has the remarkable ability of revealing more than just the features of her subjects — she captures who they are and how they feel. In Women, Leibovitz is both photographer and photojournalist. The obvious connection between her subjects is gender, but the women portrayed couldn't be more varied. This collection provides a catalog of American women from all walks of life in their everyday element: from celebrities to construction workers, astronauts, athletes, teachers, politicians, soldiers, and artists. "Each of these pictures must stand on its own," writes Susan Sontag in the book's accompanying essay. "But the ensemble says, So this is what women are now — as different, as varied, as heroic, as forlorn, as conventional, as unconventional as this." Women may be remembered as the definitive photographic documentary of its subject at the turn of the century. Ann, Powells.com http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gineke

    I enjoyed this book. It's the second book of works from Annie Leibovitz that I've read, and I must say I enjoyed this book a lot more than Pilgrimage. Annie Leibovitz is great at portrait photography. She's most known for her celebrity photographs, but I must say that her portraits of regular Americans touched me a lot more. You can see the dedication in the eyes of the subjects, so can read their strive and laughter in their wrinkles, and they just feel real. Those photographs made me feel like I enjoyed this book. It's the second book of works from Annie Leibovitz that I've read, and I must say I enjoyed this book a lot more than Pilgrimage. Annie Leibovitz is great at portrait photography. She's most known for her celebrity photographs, but I must say that her portraits of regular Americans touched me a lot more. You can see the dedication in the eyes of the subjects, so can read their strive and laughter in their wrinkles, and they just feel real. Those photographs made me feel like these were people I'd love to get to know better, and that's a powerful thing to convey through a photograph.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Jenkins

    Annie Leibovitz's photography is amazing. She has an incredible eye and her talent is off the charts. The collection of photographs were very interesting to look through. I was disappointed that they weren't more of her popular stuff. I was expecting some of her iconic photos. And there was way more nudity than I was expecting. I wasn't expecting any and there was quite a bit. I had to keep it away from my kids who were big-eyed when they peeked over my shoulder. Annie Leibovitz's photography is amazing. She has an incredible eye and her talent is off the charts. The collection of photographs were very interesting to look through. I was disappointed that they weren't more of her popular stuff. I was expecting some of her iconic photos. And there was way more nudity than I was expecting. I wasn't expecting any and there was quite a bit. I had to keep it away from my kids who were big-eyed when they peeked over my shoulder.

  11. 5 out of 5

    darrienmichael

    Leibovitz, as usual, produces memorable images while Sontag provides the words. Although, it is just as easy to provide your own words and put Sontag's aside. That is part of the beauty of the book. Oh, and it looks great on my coffee table. The book is a true celebration of women and their multifaceted complexity. Or you can just look at all the nice pictures. Leibovitz, as usual, produces memorable images while Sontag provides the words. Although, it is just as easy to provide your own words and put Sontag's aside. That is part of the beauty of the book. Oh, and it looks great on my coffee table. The book is a true celebration of women and their multifaceted complexity. Or you can just look at all the nice pictures.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Photokitten

    Annie Lebowitz is an amazing photographer. Her art is so moving and compelling, however I feel that many of the images in this book appear to be more contrived than her usual portrails....beautiful just not a MUST HAVE

  13. 4 out of 5

    Avory Faucette

    I didn't read the essay, but I did look at all the photographs. I thought they were gorgeous, and I loved the juxtapositions. I especially liked the showgirls where they were shown in and out of costume. This is a great book to have on the coffee table when you need a little inspiration. I didn't read the essay, but I did look at all the photographs. I thought they were gorgeous, and I loved the juxtapositions. I especially liked the showgirls where they were shown in and out of costume. This is a great book to have on the coffee table when you need a little inspiration.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Awesome pictures by Annie Liebovitz and essay by Susan Sontag on women and their portrayal in media and society.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley-Marie

    Beautiful photographs and a very thought provoting essay from the late Susan Sontag. Very nice read/look through

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maria Wheeler

    Interesting look at women-especially the two depictions (real life vs. night life) of Vegas showgirls.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    Amazing book. I got a signed copy for christmas after seeing an Annie Leibovits show in Columbus right before. What an awesome gift! Thanks Chris!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacques Willems

    If you like Annie Leibobitz' Photography this is a must have. Beautiful collection of extraordinary portrets from a variety of women of all classes. If you like Annie Leibobitz' Photography this is a must have. Beautiful collection of extraordinary portrets from a variety of women of all classes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Martyn

    4/5 for the beautiful photography. Minus several million for the turgid and contradictory essay by Sontag that sought to both praise and undermine the project.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fai Ahmed

    "Imagine a book of pictures of women in which none of the women could be identified as beautiful. Wouldn't we feel that the photographer had made some kind of mistake? Was being mean-spirited? Misogynistic? Was depriving us of something that we had a right to see? No one would say the same thing of a book of portraits of men? There were always several kinds of beauty; imperious beauty, voluptuous beauty, beauty signifying the character traits that fitted a woman for the confines of genteel domest "Imagine a book of pictures of women in which none of the women could be identified as beautiful. Wouldn't we feel that the photographer had made some kind of mistake? Was being mean-spirited? Misogynistic? Was depriving us of something that we had a right to see? No one would say the same thing of a book of portraits of men? There were always several kinds of beauty; imperious beauty, voluptuous beauty, beauty signifying the character traits that fitted a woman for the confines of genteel domesticity-docility, pliancy, serenity. Beauty wasn't just loveliness of feature and expression, an aesthetic ideal. It also spoke to the eye about the virtues deemed essential in women." Every time I read something by Susan Sontag, I admire her more and more. I bought this book particularly, for the essay and I thought it'd have more essays and less photographs. but I'm not complaining. Sontag points out a lot of issues like how society defines feminine. Nobody looks through a book of pictures of women without thinking if she attractive or not. but for men, we think of them as being strong, forceful. Not to be attractive. "In advanced consumer societies, these 'narcissistic' values are more and more the concern of men as well. But male primping never loosens the lock on initiative taking. Indeed, glorying in one's appearance is an ancient warrior's pleasure, an expression of power, an instrument of dominance. Anxiety about persona attractiveness could never be thought defining of a man: a man can always been seen. Women are looked at." she also talked about language and gender, male gaze, equal payment and occupations that still gender-labeled and why it makes sense to have anthologies of women writers or exhibits of women photographers and it's pretty odd to do it to men. I just love how Sontag pointed out that no one would undertake a book full of photographs of men in the same spirit of a book full of photographs of women. and Annie did a massive job on photographing these women!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Shea

    The very idea that a book featuring the photographs of women has to be described as such comes from the even now in this day and age concept that we must qualify everything having to do with women by adding "female" to terms like "doctor" or "physicist" while occupations such as "nurse" or "teacher" need no such qualifiers for they are assumed to be female. This astounding book is a compilation of women from all over America, caught by Annie Leibovitz' camera for one telling instant and revealin The very idea that a book featuring the photographs of women has to be described as such comes from the even now in this day and age concept that we must qualify everything having to do with women by adding "female" to terms like "doctor" or "physicist" while occupations such as "nurse" or "teacher" need no such qualifiers for they are assumed to be female. This astounding book is a compilation of women from all over America, caught by Annie Leibovitz' camera for one telling instant and revealing themselves in a way that is deeper than words. I could spend about ten years, just staring at some of their faces and trying to read everything there. I think the photographs at the end of the book, taken of some women who work as showgirls in Las Vegas, were the most poignant for me. Their professional stage persona is juxtaposed with portraits of how they look at home. Their jobs force them to fashion themselves as hypersexualized images of male desire and fantasy and yet, they are also women with intelligent, serious visages who would not, on the street, cause one to give them a second glance. Their transformation is, I think, emblematic of what is required of every woman, to fulfill someone else's idea of what they are, can do and should be. There are many portraits in the book of those who chose to break the mold, and their defiant or pensive faces tell much about what they have had to endure to accomplish what they needed to accomplish. Fascinating. Emotionally exhausting. This book is truly an experience.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charity

    This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read/viewed. It's difficult for me to even find words to describe the way Leibovitz captures the complex beauty of a widely representative, diverse set of women. The photos I was most drawn to were of Vegas showgirls. There were these stunning pictures of different showgirls dressed in extravagant, bright, over-the top, gargantuan peacock-feathered costumes, while they themselves were adorned with heavy, dramatic stage make-up. Leibovitz also cap This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read/viewed. It's difficult for me to even find words to describe the way Leibovitz captures the complex beauty of a widely representative, diverse set of women. The photos I was most drawn to were of Vegas showgirls. There were these stunning pictures of different showgirls dressed in extravagant, bright, over-the top, gargantuan peacock-feathered costumes, while they themselves were adorned with heavy, dramatic stage make-up. Leibovitz also captured, and contrasted across from, shots of these same women in their every day lives, in regular clothes, without makeup, with their children, with soft, subdued hair pulled away from their faces and the result was well, again, something I don't quite know how to put words to. I know I couldn't stop looking at them, have read the bios of each of those women over and over and have re-visited the images countless times. It is my habit to hand over books to my book-loving friends when I'm finished reading them but I know this one will never leave my house.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gift

    I have to admit that I had no idea who Annie Leibovitz was until she started a revolution by Pirelli Calender. Her book Women is what I have expected it to be: calm, complex and full of beautiful pictures. I was a bit irritated by some of the picture descriptions (you had to skip through a couple of pages until you found the right one) but I think that I understand the reason for it. It is an extraordinary and fascinating collection of American women in authentic environment. I was confused by t I have to admit that I had no idea who Annie Leibovitz was until she started a revolution by Pirelli Calender. Her book Women is what I have expected it to be: calm, complex and full of beautiful pictures. I was a bit irritated by some of the picture descriptions (you had to skip through a couple of pages until you found the right one) but I think that I understand the reason for it. It is an extraordinary and fascinating collection of American women in authentic environment. I was confused by the introductory essay, though. I was (still am) quite skeptical. After the rise of Me Too movement, we can read a lot of essays like that: clever, well researched but still a bit repetitive. The majority of them seem to be kind of Woolf-ish but they are not very innovative anymore. Then I realized that this essay was written 19 years ago, 17-18 years before Me Too movement. Was it innovative back then? 3.5*

  24. 4 out of 5

    Johanna E. H.

    A lovely book to look through, full of honest portraits of women, both posed and in their day-to-day life. Includes nudity in portraits of performance artists and dancers, which feels honest and non-voyeuristic. The essay was a bit disappointing, and didn't completely fit. The layout was a little frustrating, and I kept having to flip back and forth to find the captions. I got it from the library, which is nice because I don't think it's one to reread/look through, at least for me. A worthwhile A lovely book to look through, full of honest portraits of women, both posed and in their day-to-day life. Includes nudity in portraits of performance artists and dancers, which feels honest and non-voyeuristic. The essay was a bit disappointing, and didn't completely fit. The layout was a little frustrating, and I kept having to flip back and forth to find the captions. I got it from the library, which is nice because I don't think it's one to reread/look through, at least for me. A worthwhile half an hour, though! I love women 💖

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paul Baker

    This is a beautiful, extraordinary collection of photographs by Annie Leibovitz, with comments by Susan Sontag. Old and young, famous and unknown, glamorous and work-a-day, wealthy and poor, this book celebrates women from all walks of life. The photography is truly amazing and it is easy to linger over photos wondering just how the photographer ever managed to tease just the right expression from all her subjects. The simply marvelous book is recommended to all readers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    The photographs were amazing. I love Annie Leibovitz’s work. But I also really enjoyed the essay that was written by Susan Sontag for this book. It was called “A Photograph is Not an Opinion. or Is It?”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Larraine

    This is a gorgeous coffee table book of photos of women by Annie Leibovitz. There are women we all know, but there are also women we don’t. Waitresses, housekeepers, dancers, carnival workers, athletes, and Las Vegas showgirls. Terrific images!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thais Morimoto (tatakizi)

    It was interesting to see thw different types of women and how Annie Leibovitz chose to portrait them. Seing those women in so many occupations shows that we are so diverse and unique on our own. The photos are simply incredible and the text was also really interesting!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Callie

    I. LOVE. THIS. WOMAN'S. PHOTOGRAPHS. I. LOVE. THIS. WOMAN'S. PHOTOGRAPHS.

  30. 5 out of 5

    B___y__g

    Great photos collection. It would be better if Sontag's essay be put to the last section (or even be removed). Great photos collection. It would be better if Sontag's essay be put to the last section (or even be removed).

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