See Sheryl Sandberg, as photographed by Annie Leibovitz

For a new exhibit, the iconic photographer trains her lens on influential women in politics, the arts, science and technology, including Facebook's chief operating officer.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
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Leslie Katz
2 min read

You've seen Sheryl Sandberg's photo on the cover of Fortune, Forbes and Time. Now you can see her through the eyes of Annie Leibovitz. While the famed photographer is known for placing her subjects in bold poses, sometimes draped in snakes and diamonds, she opts for a more familiar setting, an office, for the Facebook chief operating officer and author of "Lean In: Woman, Work, and the Will to Lead."

The picture of Sandberg -- looking quietly confident, hands resting on a conference table, one leg tucked under her leather skirt -- appears as part of "WOMEN: New Portraits," a traveling exhibit of newly commissioned works by the photographer on display in San Francisco as part of a 10-city global tour. The San Francisco exhibit features 29 new portraits of notable women, including US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, writer Gloria Steinem, transgender advocate Caitlyn Jenner, singer Adele and comedian Amy Schumer.

Joining Sandberg's portrait among those that may hold particular interest for the more geeky-minded are photos of famed primatologist Jane Goodall, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and actress Lupita Nyong'o, who played space pirate Maz Kanata in one of the films Kennedy produced, last year's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."


Sheryl Sandberg, Menlo Park, California, 2015 © Annie Leibovitz from WOMEN: New Portraits

© Annie Leibovitz. From WOMEN: New Portraits Exclusive Commissioning Partner UBS

Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone, and became the magazine's chief photographer in 1973. She later worked for Vanity Fair and Vogue, and her work has appeared in prominent art venues around the world, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The WOMEN exhibit, commissioned by international bank UBS, expands on a project Leibovitz began more than 15 years ago, when a popular series of her photographs titled "Women" was published in collaboration with the late writer and activist Susan Sontag. In addition to the new photos, the exhibit includes work from the original series, plus other unpublished photographs taken since.

The collection ranges from dramatic shots to more understated treatments, like that of Sandberg, which still conveys so much, even in its simplicity. Is it just me or does the Facebook exec appear to be leaning in?


Annie Leibovitz in her new traveling exhibit of portraits.

©John Salangsang/BFA.com