A new photography exhibition in Washington, DC is attracting visitors who have come to see one of the most iconic photographers in the world step out of her comfort zone.
‘Pilgrimage’, a collection of new works by Annie Leibovitz on at the Smithsonian American Art Museum is a world away from her popular celebrity portraits, and in many ways, sees the photographer returning back to basics.
Taken during a series of road trips, the inspiration for the new exhibit came from a book she planned to make with her partner Susan Sontag – after Sontag passed away; Leibovitz revived the concept with her children.
Her first stop, she said, was Niagara Falls.
“I was sitting off to the side, feeling a little down, and I saw my children mesmerized, studying the falls,” Leibovitz said. “And I walked over, stood behind them… and I took this picture.”
As Leibovitz continued on, she took pictures of historic places objects, landscapes and scenes. Highlights include the homes of author Louisa May Alcott, Elvis Presley and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others.
“I was swept away when I walked into these places,” she said. “I found myself taking pictures and not thinking about any consequences. I was seduced.”
Fans of Leibovitz are also particularly interested in this show, as it’s the first gallery show with all-digital photographs.
“This is an amazing time to be a photographer,” she said. “I was like a girl who went out and took pictures, and everyone else took care of everything else. Now I really do need to take care of everything.”
“It’s a project I did for myself. I wanted to be seduced into a photograph and not make it up,” she said. “And I wanted to take my time.”
Pilgrimage is on display until 20 May.