Paint the Town: Annie Leibovitz’s Pilgrimage

by Editorial

Renowned photographer graces Washington with exhibition that showcases American monuments (not celebs).
By Lesley Siu

Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (AP Photo by Jacquelyn Martin)

Annie Leibovitz came to DC again — but not for another Obama family portrait. This time, the notable photographer traded in the glitz and glam of celebrity portraiture for the essence of American landmarks. Her Smithsonian exhibition, “Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage,” is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum until May 20.

Curious and moved by the natural subjects, Leibovitz visited historical sites across the country. The personal, 64-photograph exhibition includes dramatic shots of Niagara Falls and Old Faithful as well as inside looks into the homes of Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickinson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pete Seeger, and Elvis Presley. She channeled the lifestyles of artists she admires, such as Ansel Adams and Julia Margaret Cameron.

On January 24, Leibovitz stepped in front of the cameras to discuss her inspiration for the series. The sold-out Smithsonian event affirmed the photographer’s well-regarded place in the DC arts scene; no First Family required.

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