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To Our Friends: On the Closure of the Annenberg Space for Photography

Dear Friends:

I’m writing to share some news – borne out of the pandemic that has upended public institutions across the world. After closing its doors to the public in March, the Annenberg Space for Photography will not be re-opening.

It’s been a joy and a privilege to share my favorite art form with the Los Angeles community for these ten wonderful years. Because a great photograph does so much more than capture what’s in front of us. It captures what’s deep inside us – the trials and the triumphs the naked eye rarely sees. That’s why the Photo Space has been so meaningful to me.

It’s also why I’m so very grateful to the extraordinary teams we’ve built – from the founding leadership of ASP to the current leadership of Katie Hollander and her incredible team – for the work they’ve done and for the vision we’ve shared. Together, we’ve staged some extraordinary exhibits; we’ve showcased some astonishing work; we’ve highlighted some critical issues. And I believe we’ve had a chance to touch people’s lives.

I am especially gratified by the public response to our work at ASP. In our decade of existence, nearly a million visitors have taken part in our exhibitions and programs, including back to our first show on the city of Los Angeles, to our other outstanding exhibits including, Who Shot Rock & RollContact High: A Visual History of Hip-HopNational Geographic’s Photo ArkRefugeeGeneration WealthIdentity: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders The List Portraits; and W|ALLS: Defend, Divide and the Divine.

Our most recent exhibit, Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling, generated a tremendous amount of attention from all over the world. And we’ve done so much more than displaying great work. I’m just as proud of our thought-provoking and diverse films, education programs, public concerts, and panel discussions. In all of these ways, we have worked to inform and inspire the public – to connect photographers, philanthropy, and the human experience through powerful imagery and stories.

You will be able to view our past exhibits, archives of interviews, and audio tours through social media and at annenbergphotospace.org. And I can tell you, we’re going to look for new and creative ways to bring stirring art to the public in the years ahead.

For now, given the unprecedented health crisis we face, the Annenberg Foundation will continue to place its primary focus on helping to support those affected by COVID-19. In addition, we’re going to continue to expand our commitment to social and economic justice, in every way we can.

Closing a chapter is never easy. But I want to say, from the bottom of my heart, this has been one of the great chapters of my philanthropic career. And I thank you for being such a big part of it.

Wishing you health and safety in the weeks and months ahead.


Wallis Annenberg

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