Neil Libbert




Born in Salford, Manchester, in 1938, Neil Libbert studied at the Regional College of Art, Manchester, opening his own studio in 1957. Libbert has subsequently spent fifty-five years as an award-winning photojournalist for The Observer, The Guardian and other publications.

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Photographic Career

Born in Salford, Manchester, in 1938, Libbert studied at the Regional College of Art, Manchester, opening his own studio in 1957. From there he joined the staff of the Manchester Guardian, moving to the paper’s London office in 1961. He stayed there until 1965, when he began to work under contract for publications such as The Sunday Times, The New York Times and The Illustrated London News. In 1968 Libbert started freelancing again, and worked as a photojournalist covering a wide variety of subject matter. Until recently he covered performing arts photography for The Observer.


Among the variety of celebrated names he has captured over his long career are Winston Churchill, Kingsley Amis, Francis Bacon, George Best, Patrick Lichfield, Helen Mirren and Harold Pinter. Libbert has also earned renown for his street photography and reportage, being recognised for his coverage of the 1981 Brixton riots. In 1999 he was named Nikon News Photographer of the Year and was also the recipient of a World Press Photo Award for his exclusive coverage of the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, London, which made the front page of The Guardian. Libbert’s work about the homeless has received great praise.


Libbert’s work has been exhibited at galleries including Stables Gallery, New Mexico, and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. A solo exhibition of his photographs was mounted at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 2012.