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February 25th, 2009
03:18 PM ET

Annie Leibovitz pawns her life's work to raise $16m

Yves Saint Laurent's private collection was also auctioned off earlier this week

Yves Saint Laurent's private collection was also auctioned off earlier this week

David Usborne
The Independent

Pity the struggling rich who find that their swaggering homes no longer have the value necessary to help them raise more cash when suddenly they need it. But for some there is salvation. There are certain institutions out there interested in taking something else as collateral for new loans: art.

You are particularly blessed if you not only collect important art – it has to be good stuff, not your great aunt's oils languishing in the attic – but are the creator of it. Just ask Annie Leibovitz, the portrait photographer whose clients have included Walt Disney and Vanity Fair, but who has apparently hit the financial shoals.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Kim

    Bought her first camera in Japan and hiked up Mt. Fugi. The "distance of time" as life moves along. Who bought the Susan Sontag at Petra,Jordon 1994 ? Didn't she take the last picture of John Lennon with Yoko Ono before he was killed ? Seems to be a really cool lady from Connecticut with great contemporary work. There is more to see !

    February 26, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  2. Leigh, Charlotte, NC

    That is a very sad story. I do not see her as a "rich person". Losing something tangible, like a home, a car, even a photo and all rights to it you have taken is one thing. Being forced to sign over rights to your intellectual and creative forces in the future sounds like a predatory lending to me. This is a sign of how separate she has become and I am sorry for anyone who feels they must agree to those terms. You have to wonder what she is trying to hold on to if she is willing to give up so much.

    February 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    I hope that Leibowitz finds a way out of her financial troubles without having to sacrifice all of her life's work. At least though she has this and the power of her artistic reputation to fall back on to help her get her footing back onto solid financial ground.

    February 25, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  4. Antoine P. Brunson

    Financial hardship knows no demographics.

    February 25, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  5. Larry

    Where was the democratic congress in the past two years?

    February 25, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  6. jennifer cornwall

    Nadia,

    I couldn't have said it better. They need to vote them all out of office the next election.

    February 25, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  7. Mundo

    Politics in this country are in a sad state, and the best and most vivid illustration was last night. Frequently close to 1/2 of the “representatives” listening to the President would not stand up to clap because they are constrained by ideology. I think its sad for the American people as these numnuts refuse to put partisanship aside and do what is best for the country. They are hell bent on supporting their party as the caravan goes over the cliff, taking the American citizens with them.

    February 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  8. Mundo

    Politics in this country are in a sad state, and the best and most vivid illustration was last night. Frequently close to 1/2 of the "representatives" listening to the President would not stand up to clap because they are constrained by ideology. I think its sad for the American people as these numnuts refuse to partisanship aside and do what is best for the country. They are hell bent on supporting their party as the caravan goes over the cliff, taking the American citizens with them.

    February 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  9. Dwyer Jones

    President Obama is that rare kind of leader that speaks plainly but eloquently, and his example of intelligence and probity will encourage millions of Americans. But it's very important that we help one another by being kind, compassionate, and courteous. The best kind of networking is the old-fashioned one: People listening to one another. And saying "Thank you" as much as possible. It's free and it does wonders for people, especially in difficult times.

    February 25, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  10. Mari, Salt Lake City

    @ Nadia Baksh...... well said! Where were all these so-called-fiscal-conservatives for the last eight years while Bush spent us into oblivion?

    About Annie Leibovits, wow.... at least she can sell something to help her out. Most Americans are one paycheck away from homelessness.

    I am grateful to have a president who cares more for the people than the fat-cats-bakers & Wall Street-crooks!

    February 25, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  11. Nadia Baksh

    I was disappointed in Bobby jindal's response, I also thought that it was inpoor taste..the GOP has been in power for the last 8 yrs and none of them stepped up to fix the economy...and now in the first 30 or so days of Pres. Obama's presidency..they suddenly know how to fix the recession!

    February 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  12. EKSwitaj

    As a photographer, I deeply admire Ms. Leibovitz's work, but what about the challenges faced by young artists still struggling to make their names?

    February 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  13. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    I detect a bit of cynicism in the syntax of the writer.

    Personally, I feel for Liebovitz, she is a talent, high earner, and she is one of the few to make a living at art. I am sorry, very sorry to hear that she is having financial trouble. Perhaps like the middle class, that includes me, but nevertheless, her lifestyle is her business.

    The rich are not the enemy.

    February 25, 2009 at 3:35 pm |

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