Cultural pilgrimages are in the news: the New York Times Magazine recently asked readers to submit photos of their cultural travels and the Smithsonian American Art Museum opened an exhibition titled "Pilgrimage" of Annie Leibovitz's photographs. Unlike Leibovitz' previous work of celebrity portraits, this exhibition focuses on objects, rooms and landscapes of cultural significance to Leibovitz. Among her subjects: artist Georgia O'Keeefe's New Mexico home and studio, Mount Vernon, Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth home built on stilts near Chicago and drawings in Louisa May Alcott's house. Leibovitz began the project in 2009 when she took her two young children to see Niagara Falls. For the first time since art school, she chose her own path, stayed away from assignments and followed her intuition is choosing subjects.
Leibovitz stated about the project: "It was definitely a search. It's all the things we search for: a reason to be alive, to go on, to do things. There's a whole list there." For her the project was "an exercise in renewal. It taught me to see again."
The New York Times Magazine collected readers' photos of their cultural pilgrimages. What's on your cultural pilgrimage travel bucket list?
Shown in the Images:
1. Dining room mirrors reflect a stairway in Graceland, Elvis Presley's home in Memphis, where he lived from 1957 until his death in 1977.
2. Sharpshooter Annie Oakley's trunk, which is now at the Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio.
3. Ansel Adams' darkroom, in his Carmel, California, house, as part of her tribute to "what Ansel did to make people aware of how extraordinary the landscape is."
The exhibition "Pilgrimages" is on view until May 20, 2012 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. See the New York Times Magazine feature on cultural pilgrimages by clicking here.
Images: Annie Leibovitz