Inside “Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling.”

2 minutes read

Hollywood, celebrities, powerbrokers, parties, scandals. Over four decades, Vanity Fair showcases and glamourizes public personalities from entertainment, politics, and pop culture. Through the lens of famous photographers like Annie Leibowitz, Vanity Fair principal photographer, explore more than 130 photography of glamour and power.

Here is a look at “Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling


  • Early beginning

From 1913 to 1936 (Jazz Age), Vanity Fair showcased modern artists, writers, and movie stars. It portrayed titans like Warner Brothers, Disney, Picasso, and Dorothy Parker.

Did you know? The magazine was originally named Dress and Vanity Fair.

Michael Thompson – Julianne Moore, April 2000.

Come 1930 and the Great Depression. The interest for the High Society dropped. The magazine would reemerge many years later, in 1983.

Did you know? The term « Vanity Fair » was coined in John Bunyan’s 1678 novel “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”


  • Iconic images

Vanity Fair camera stood out the personality and humanity of the subjects. Photographers play with their public image and a five minutes shot can become an iconic cover.

Norman Jean Roy – Hilary Swank, 2004.
Mark Seliger – Vanessa and Kobe Bryant, Oscar Night 2018.
Art Streiber – Chadwick Boseman, November 2017.
Herb Ritts – Denzel Washington, October 1995.

 “Getting your own photo shoot in Vanity Fair has become the premier achievement in our celebrity-mad culture” Maureen Dowdm The New York Times.

George Hurrell – Drew Barrymore, July 1984.
Annie Leibovitz – Amy Shumer, May 2016.
Cass Bird – Michael B.Jordan, November 2018.
Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki – Timothee Chamalet, Hollywood Issue 2019.
Annie Leibovitz -Jack Nicholson, April 1992.

Cover of the June 1985 issue. Hollywood and White House. Harry Benson captured former Hollywood actor and current U.S President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan. This cover portrayed the couple dancing on “Nancy With The Dancing Face” by Frank Sinatra. This five-minute shot became one of Vanity Fair best seller.

Harry Benson – President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, June 1985.

When that picture came out, everything changed, literally overnight, where I was walking down the street on a Friday night…and Saturday morning people were yelling my name.Whoopi Goldberg. Annie Leibovitz shot the comedy star in a bath full of milk in July 1984. The scene “was inspired by one of her characters, a little girl who wanted to be white so badly that she bathed in Clorox.”

Annie Leibovitz – Whoopi Goldberg, July 1984


  • Highlights

Vanity Fair’s 2020 Hollywood issue


Step behind the scene of the most prestigious annual cover: the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue. Since 1995, Vanity Fair portraits the most influential people from the entertainment industry. A short documentary directed by Alex Horwitz highlights the process. Follow the selection of stars, visit the set, and look out for the final Hollywood issue cover.

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Demi Moore by Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz – Demi Moore, August 1991.

Fertility, nudity, and movie star. The August 1991 issue became instantly a culture buster. Annie Leibovitz captured a naked seven-month pregnant Demi Moore. For the first time, a mass media sexualize pregnancy and empower motherhood. The photo was provocative. It shocked a lot of people and the magazine was banned from many stores.

Annie Leibovitz – Demi Moore, August 1991.

Did you know? Following this cover, some people canceled their subscriptions.


Plan your visit

  • On view from February 8th to July 26th, 2020
  • Location: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
  • Admission: Free
  • Duration: I spent 2 hours to discover it.
  • Audio guide available and guided tour on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm.
  • Parking on-site: $1.50 with validation
  • More information available at


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2 thoughts on “Inside “Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling.”

  1. Bien vu Marie,
    interessant ce florilège de stars et, évidemment, bien vu l’adage à propos des fleurs.
    Continuez à nous intéresser à tous ces sujets multiples, variés et aussi bien illustrés que renseignés.


    1. Merci beaucoup Yan!

      Je suis ravie que vous ayez apprecié cette visite virtuelle 😉
      Au dela des paillettes et du glamour, cette exposition explore les dessous d’un magazine de renom en mettant en lumiere le travail de photographes de talent ainsi que leurs modeles, des personalités issues de différents univers (politique, cinématographique, musical, etc.).

      A bientot pour de nouvelles découvertes!



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