Pepperdine Libraries Presents Survey of Influential Photographer Leigh Wiener
Wiener’s photographs offer intimate snapshots of Hollywood legends, Jazz Age greats, U.S. presidents, and other leading figures in twentieth-century America.
Throughout his 50-year career, Leigh Wiener (1929-1993) captured iconic images that appeared in hallmark publications including the Los Angeles Times, Life, Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. This spring semester, Pepperdine Libraries is pleased to present a sampling of the myriad prints that Wiener produced.
The public is invited to the opening reception of Leigh Wiener: The Artist at Work on Thursday, Jan. 16, 4-5:30 p.m., in the Payson Library Exhibit Gallery. Admission is free, and refreshments are provided. As part of the reception, Leigh Wiener’s son, Devik Wiener, will offer remarks about his father’s work.
The exhibition features 22 photographs, videos of archival footage, and several pieces of photographic equipment that Wiener used to create his prints. Wiener’s photographs offer intimate snapshots of Hollywood legends, Jazz Age greats, U.S. presidents, and other leading figures in twentieth-century America. Wiener’s signature process included extensive research on his subjects followed by interactive photography sessions carefully tailored to the disposition and physical expressivity of each individual. In the darkroom after the shoot, Wiener’s craftsmanship continued with the careful selection and processing of negatives, resulting in an expansive body of work.
“Whether it’s a musician performing, a writer contemplating, or a baseball player pitching, the photographs capture some of the most recognizable people of the postwar era doing what they loved,” said Mark Roosa, Pepperdine’s dean of Libraries. “Viewed together, the photographs in the exhibition uniquely capture what it means to be an artist—from both sides of the camera.”
The artist’s innate talent was apparent from early on. By age 14, Wiener sold his first print to a professional publication. For the next several decades, Wiener became one of the most significant photographers of the time. He photographed every president from Truman to Reagan, and he extensively documented the industrial landscape of America. Several photography books feature Wiener’s work, and numerous museums, including The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., include his prints in their collections.
Leigh Wiener: The Artist at Work is on view through May 8, 2020. Guests coming to Payson Library from off-campus should contact a member of the Libraries staff at 310.506.7273 for questions about visitor parking.
Director for Library Programming and Public Affairs, Pepperdine Libraries