Leadership Circle Spring Member Event Recap

Leadership Circle Members Get a Close Look at Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Harrison Ford and More.

Last month, Members of the Leadership Circle and invited guests gathered in the Central Library’s Rare Books Room to enjoy an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the Library’s recently acquired collection of celebrity photographs from photographer John Verzi.

Christina Rice, Senior Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photo Collection, spoke about her role overseeing the Library’s extensive archives, managing digitization projects, and how she first came across John Verzi’s collection—a treasure trove of over 12,000 color photo slides in perfect condition—when they came up for auction.

The collection featured images of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Winona Rider, Brad Pitt, Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley, Billy Wilder, and many more, which had never been published or shown publicly. City Librarian, John Szabo joined Christina Rice to bid at the auction and won this vast collection for the Los Angeles Public Library for $144,000, with financial support from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.


John Verzi was not a paparazzo; he was a postal worker in Los Angeles. Still, his incredible access to the celebrities he captured—many A-list actors and musicians—was astounding. After Verzi’s death in 2018, his photos were left to a friend, and eventually put up for auction. Now, Christina Rice and her team are taking on the process of archiving and digitizing these never-before-seen images to make them available for public access.

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles is committed to this important work of digitizing collections and protecting and preserving originals from the Los Angeles Public Library’s rare and historical collections. Contributions from our supporters and members help us provide the funding necessary to move this collection from the forgotten shadows of the past to their new home in the Los Angeles Public Library, where they can be shared and appreciated for years to come.

To learn more about how you can support our work as a member and attend other member-exclusive events, visit LFLA.org/Join or contact Sarah Charleton, Director of Membership and Annual Giving.

View all the photos from the event below.

2024 Leadership Circle Spring Member Private Reception

Share on