Whenever I’m in Santa Fe, I usually visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. As a young art student I was drawn to O’Keefe’s strong, ethereal work and her unembellished life-style.
Reading an article about an upcoming exhibition at the museum, titled, “Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage(Santa Fean Magazine, Eve Tolpa, February/March 2013), the renowned photographer describes her first visit to O’Keeffe’s, Abiqiui home: “I didn’t expect to be moved when we walked into O’Keeffe’s studio, but I found myself weeping. It’s hard to describe the sense of solitude and peace in that room.” And from that visit, Ms. Leibovitz traveled two more times to Northern New Mexico to photograph O’Keeffe’s home, the landscape at Ghost Ranch, the “Black Place” where the latter artist walked and painted, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum vault.
While Annie Leibovitz is best known for her Vanity Fair celebrity photographs, the work in this exhibition goes beyond the confines of career, stepping into territory that is more personal and meaningful. Sixty-four photographs of the rooms and objects of historically famous people (including Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickinson) and significant places such as Niagara Falls and Walden Pond are included in this body of work produced between April 2009 and May 2011. The entire exhibition was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution for its permanent collection.
Opening at the O'Keeffe Museum, February 15 and continuing through May 5, 2013, we read from the exhibition statement :
“Annie Leibovitz’s Pilgrimage is much like Georgia O’Keeffe’s work in that it captures a place in time with such evocative power and emotion that you cannot help but feel the connection, the deep sense of place,” said Rob Kret, Director of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. “We are honored to have her work here and feel that it truly commemorates and compliments the ongoing ‘Georgia O’Keeffe and the Faraway: Nature and Image’ exhibition with paintings and photographs of O’Keeffe’s most beloved and inspiring locations in the Southwest.”
“Pilgrimage” is an evocative and deeply personal statement by a photographer whose career now spans more than 40 years, encompassing a broad range of subject matter, history and stylistic influences. Together the pictures show Leibovitz at the height of her powers, unfettered by the demands of her career and pondering how photographs, including her own, shape a narrative of history that informs the present.
Also in the statement, Ms Leibovitz provides insight into the personal value of this work:
“From the beginning, when I was watching my children stand mesmerized over Niagara Falls, this project was an exercise in renewal. It taught me to see again.”
Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage is organized by guest curator, Andy Grundberg (former New York Times photography critic and Associate Provost and Dean of undergraduate studies at the Corcoran College of Art + Design), for the Smithsonian American Art Museum - along with Senior Curator  and coordinating Curator of the Smithsonian Museum, Joann Moser.
The exhibition is presented in conjunction with a new book published by Random House.
Following its presentation at the O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM., Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage will continue its tour at the following venues:
San Jose Museum of Art
in San Jose, California (June 6, 2013–September 8, 2013)
Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina (October 4, 2013–January 5, 2014)
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinios (February 7, 2014–May 4, 2014)

For further images of Annie Leibovitz:Pilgrimage, view googlesearch


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