Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and China, Bolinas, California, 1971; David Harris and Joan Baez, Los Altos, California, 1971; Jerry Garcia, San Francisco, 1974; Ken Kesey, Eugene, Oregon, 1974
This group of four images in a single frame, donated by Annie Leibovitz, captures intimate moments in the 1970s, when she spent time with stars of rock and roll and the counterculture. The photo of Paul Kantner and Grace Slick (with baby China) of the famous rock band Jefferson Starship was taken in their Bolinas home, at the edge of the ocean on the left of the Brighton Avenue ramp to the beach. Folk singer Joan Baez used her influence and soaring voice as a protester and activist for social justice. She went on to create 30 albums. She was briefly married to peace activist David Harris, who was a national leader of resistance to the Vietnam war, and went on to be a distinguished journalist and author. Jerry Garcia was lead singer, songwriter, and a guitarist for the legendary rock band Grateful Dead, which still has legions of followers. He and his family lived in Stinson Beach for many years. Ken Kesey also spent time in Stinson Beach and Bolinas. He was a counter culture visionary, and a writer–including the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which became a movie. He led a group called the Merry Pranksters, breaking cultural barriers, celebrating psychedelics, and expanding intellectual concepts.
As a young woman, Annie Leibovitz studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, and in 1970 became a photographer for Rolling Stone magazine in San Francisco (where she worked with the magazine’s art editor and Bolinas resident John Goodchild) just as innovative rock and folk music were bursting with creativity.
Today, Annie Leibovitz is a world famous photographer of distinct style, who has photographed many of America’s most influential stars of music and movies, and such diverse influencers as Serena Williams, Bill Gates, and the Queen of England. Her photographs are featured in such publications as Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. She was the first woman to have a solo exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and her work is in collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.