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The Pilgrimage of Annie Leibovitz

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Nov 5, 2012 2:39 PM
Annie Leibovitz Self Portrait

Annie Leibovitz, Plano, Illinois, 2011. © Annie Leibovitz, 2011

If the name isn't familiar, her photos probably are. Annie Leibovitz has photographed Queen Elizabeth, Demi Moore, Rihanna and countless other celebrities. But in her latest endeavor, she's turned her focus away from people and towards places. In her new exhibit called "Pilgrimage", Leibovitz set out to explore places of historical and cultural significance. She photographed the homes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Pete Seeger and Emily Dickinson. She documented Niagara Falls, Yosemite Valley and the battlefields of Gettysburg.

"From the beginning, when I was watching my children stand mesmerized over Niagara Falls, this project was an exercise in renewal,” said Leibovitz. “It taught me to see again."

It's very important for us to have Annie Leibovitz's photography exhibition here in Gettysburg," says Cindy Small, the marketing and communications director for the Gettysburg Foundation, "because Gettysburg is certainly a place where people come to pilgrimage today as they have since it helps to spotlight Gettysburg as a place where people can revisit the stories of the soldiers and the civilians and those that created history in 1863 and it helps to perpetuate those stories through images and through photography."

What's great about this battlefield," says Leibovitz, "is you can come here and meditate, you can come here and walk these fields and try to come to terms with where we are and who we are."

Jacob Lott's farm, East Cavalry Field

Jacob Lott's farm, East Cavalry Field, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2010. © Annie Leibovitz, 2011

Devil's Den

Devil's Den, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2010. © Annie Leibovitz, 2011

Pilgrimage is currently on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center through January 20th. For more information visit

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