Though best-known for her iconic celebrity shoots, Annie Leibovitz is more than just glitz and glamour. We had the chance to meet the inimitable photographer and see her softer side at her newest exhibit, Pilgrimage, at the San Jose Museum of Art.
Instead of A-list faces, the subjects of this show are historical artifacts and quintessential American landscapes. Leibovitz traveled around the country, capturing things with cultural significance to her: Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat, Niagara Falls.
A few fascinating tidbits she shared while walking us through the exhibit:
Lisa Marie Presley granted her all-access. At Graceland, Elvis’s daughter broke the strict “no upstairs” policy for Leibovitz, who captured rarely seen dresses worn by the King’s mother and sunglasses donned by his grandmother.
Georgia O’Keeffe made her cry. She was so moved upon entering the painter’s studio in New Mexico that Leibovitz admits she wept. Her photos of O’Keeffe’s possessions--her handmade pastels, for example--are the heart of the show, she says.
Marian Anderson adored this one dress. While sifting through a trunk of the songstress’s clothes, she came across a dress that was so well worn, she was compelled to photograph it in pieces to capture every wrinkle and sweat stain.
Through September 8; 110 S. Market St., San Jose; 408-271-6840 or sanjosemuseumofart.org