Courtney Love & Julie Panebianco Reveal Chicago Exhibition Celebrating Female Photographers in Music




Courtney Love and Julie Panebianco present the ARChive of Contemporary Music (ARC), in collaboration with Columbia College, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Wabash Arts Corridor, proudly presents “From Her To Eternity: The Women Who Photograph Music.” This groundbreaking exhibition celebrates the remarkable work of female photographers in the music industry. Notably, the exhibition features a significant contribution from BLAG’s Sarah J. Edwards and Sally A. Edwards, showcasing their iconic works of artists Amy Winehouse, Hip Hop Legends J. Dilla, and Questlove. Held in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood from July 7th to September 18th, this outdoor installation pays tribute to the enduring contributions of women behind the lens.

Unveiling Musical Mythology: The Power of Female Photographers Curated By Courtney Love and Julie Panebianco

As the first and only major independent institution to systematically collect, preserve, and digitize all formats and genres of contemporary popular music, ARC recognizes and celebrates the profound impact of women in the industry. “From Her To Eternity: The Women Who Photograph Music” delves into the captivating realm of musical mythology, where the lens of female photographers has immortalized iconic moments and artists, shaping the visual history of music.

“We created this exhibition as a tribute to the women behind the camera, to honor those who have taken iconic photographs and whose names should be as recognizable as what we have been privileged to see from their lens,” says Panebianco and Love in a joint statement. “We named the project From Her To Eternity and dedicated it to the memory of Anita Lane, member of the Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Anita co-wrote the song ‘From Her to Eternity’ that the band used as a name for their first record. We got her family’s and Nick’s blessing to use this evocative title after she died on April 27, 2021 at the age of 61.

ARC: Preserving the Heartbeat of Contemporary Music

Founded in 1985 by B. George, the ARChive of Contemporary Music is a trailblazing institution committed to preserving, documenting, and digitizing all forms of contemporary popular music. ARC’s extensive collection of over three million recordings, including the prestigious Keith Richards’ Blues Collection, makes it the foremost public or private institution in the U.S. for recorded music preservation. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational corporation, ARC’s mission is to inspire, entertain, and educate future generations by safeguarding the heartbeat of contemporary music.

From Her To Eternity: The Women Who Photograph Music Curated by Courtney Love & Julie Panebianco

Metro/Smartbar: An Enduring Melodic Legacy

For over four decades, Metro and smartbar have been instrumental in shaping Chicago’s vibrant music community. In July 1982, Metro, situated on North Clark Street, opened its doors, setting the stage for an extraordinary legacy that endures to this day. The venue’s legendary status was cemented with its inaugural show featuring R.E.M., paving the way for countless iconic performances over the years. From up-and-coming musicians to legendary acts like Chance the Rapper, Foo Fighters, Jack White, Jamila Woods, Liz Phair, Lizzo, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Shirley Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, St. Vincent, and many more, Metro has been a stage where music legends have been born.

Meanwhile, smartbar, with its intimate setting, cultivated a devoted following from the beginning. The dedicated staff left an indelible imprint on every floor of the venue, curating unforgettable experiences one party at a time. Hosting esteemed Chicago DJs such as The Blessed Madonna, Derrick Carter, Eris Drew, Frankie Knuckles, and Superjane, smartbar swiftly became an institution in the city’s nightlife scene.

Inspired by legendary Chicago clubs like The Warehouse and The Power Plant, smartbar’s subterranean dance floor became synonymous with the city’s electronic music culture. Today, smartbar remains a mecca for electronic music, staying true to its roots by championing house and techno genres. With a steadfast commitment to community development, the venue continues to showcase exceptional residencies and welcome forward-thinking artists from across the globe. Metro and smartbar proudly stand as two of the few independently run venues in the world, fostering the diverse and thriving musical landscape of Chicago.

MoCP: Illuminating Photography’s Sonic Tapestry

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP), founded in 1976, stands as a beacon for photographic art. Devoted to exploring the intersection of visuals and sound, MoCP generates ideas and provokes dialogue among artists, students, and diverse communities. Its expansive collection, featuring over 16,800 objects by 1,800 artists, captures the essence of photography’s role in shaping the artistic, cultural, and political narratives of our world. As an accredited institution by the American Alliance of Museums, MoCP remains at the forefront of advancing the power of photographic expression.

Visionary Contributions: BLAG’s Sarah J. Edwards and Sally A. Edwards

Within “From Her To Eternity: The Women Who Photograph Music,” the visionary works of Sarah J. Edwards and Sally A. Edwards from BLAG hold a significant place. Their unparalleled ability to capture the raw essence of musicians is exhibited for the first time on US soil. From the soulful intensity of Amy Winehouse to the vibrant energy of J. Dilla and the rhythmic brilliance of Questlove, their iconic images serve as windows into the profound impact these artists have had on music.

Courtney Love & Julie Panebianco’s Featured Female Photographers: Portraits of Musical Brilliance

From Her To Eternity: The Women Who Photograph Music” shines a spotlight on the exceptional talent of numerous female photographers. This extraordinary exhibition features photographs by:

Adrien Broom

Anna Gabriel

Carinthia West

Catherine McGann

Christie Goodwin

Christina Birrer

Christy Bush

Coen Rees

Dana Distortion

Destiny Mata

Donna Santisi

Ebet Roberts

Ellen von Unwerth

Enid Farber

Jackie Lee Young

Janette Beckman

Jasmine Hirst

Jora Frantzis

Katarina Benzova

Kate Garner

Kate Simon

Kelsey Bennett

Laura Levine

Leni Sinclair

Les Guzman

Linda McCartney

Lisa Leone

Marina Chavez

Mary Ellen Matthews

Melissa Auf der Maur

Morgan Smith

Nancy Lee Andrews

Naomi Petersen

Neelam Khan Vela

Pamela Springsteen

Patricia O’Driscoll

Pooneh Ghana

Roberta Bayley

Ruth Baza

Sarah J. Edwards & Sally A. Edwards

Scarlet Page

Sheila Rock

Silken Weinberg

Susie J Horgan

The Tyler Twins

Vivian Wang

Zoe Rain


From Her To Eternity: The Women Who Photograph Music” is a captivating exhibition that celebrates the profound impact of female photographers in capturing the essence of music. With the visionary contributions of Photographer, Sarah J. Edwards and Art Director Sally A. Edwards from BLAG, the exhibition showcases iconic works featuring artists such as Amy Winehouse, J. Dilla, and Questlove, highlighting their enduring influence.

Through the collaborative efforts of the ARChive of Contemporary Music, Metro/Smartbar, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, this exhibition pays homage to the rich tapestry of music and its visual representation. As ARC continues to preserve the heartbeat of contemporary music, Metro and smartbar nurture the melodic legacy of Chicago’s music scene, while the MoCP illuminates the power of photography in shaping our artistic narrative.

“From Her To Eternity: The Women Who Photograph Music” invites visitors to delve into the captivating realm of musical mythology, where female photographers have played an integral role. With their distinctive perspectives and innate talent, these photographers have immortalized iconic moments and artists, leaving an indelible mark on the visual history of music.

Experience the celebration of female artistry in music photography and witness the remarkable talent on display. Let the images resonate, allowing the music to come alive through the lens of these exceptional photographers.