Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is one of America’s most famous portrait photographers. Her iconic pictures of celebrities first appeared in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair in the 1970’s and by the 1990’s were the subject of museum exhibitions worldwide. Hamiltons Gallery represents Annie Leibovitz in the UK.

<span class="title">Abraham Lincoln's Gloves, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2011</span>
<span class="title">Abraham Lincoln's Hat at The Smithsonian National Museum<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2011</span>
<span class="title">Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2009</span>
Annie Leibovitz
Abraham Lincoln's Gloves, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 2011
Archival pigment print
13 1/2 x 20 in.
From an edition of 25, which includes both small and large formats in a single edition
© Annie Leibovitz

The Pilgrimage project took Annie Leibovitz to places that she could explore with no agenda. She wasn't on assignment. She chose the subjects simply because they meant something to her. Leibovitz is a celebrated portraitist, but the Pilgrimage photographs have no people in them. They are notes for portraits.

 

The project was begun almost by accident, when Leibovitz visited Emily Dickinson's home in Amherst, Massachusetts, and, a few months later, when she travelled with herchildren to Niagara Falls. She had just started using small digital cameras, which gaveher a new technical freedom and the ability to travel light. Pilgrimage is Leibovitz's first purely digital project.

 

Leibovitz often returned to the same site many times in her explorations. Concord, Massachusetts, was a particularly rich arena of discovery. She went there first to photograph Walden Pond and was drawn into the world of the Concord writers and thinkers: Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott and her father, Bronson. One of the Alcott sisters was a mentor to Daniel Chester French, the Beaux Arts sculptor whose most famous work is the seated statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Leibovitz photographed French's studio in western Massachusetts, where he created the Lincoln statue, and she followed this vein to the National Archives, where a rare multiple-lens glass plate negative of a Lincoln portrait is kept. The Lincoln thread led herto the Gettysburg battlefield, where she traced the movements of Alexander Gardner and the photographers from Mathew Brady's studio whose work established the foundations for modern war photography. As time went on, Leibovitz began to use more sophisticated cameras and a tripod andto travel with an assistant, but the project remained personal. The pictures are sometimes stylised, sometimes abstract, sometimes literal views of the interiors of living rooms and bedrooms, landscapes, and talismanic objects. Leibovitz speaks of the project's restorative value for her more conventional work. "From the beginning, when I waswatching my children stand mesmerized over Niagara Falls, it was an exercise inrenewal," she says. "It taught me to see again."

 

 

© Leibovitz Studio