Personal Photographs by Annie Leibovitz, Without the Celebrities

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In the height of her financial troubles, Annie Leibovitz took a six-hour drive and stood mesmerized by the water of Niagra Falls, with her three children. The world-famous celebrity photographer extraordinaire was facing millions in debt, her career was in danger, her credit card was just rejected, and her hotel room was given away. Yet, she felt revived. She had a list! No assignments. No Miley.

Leibovitz would go to Virginia Woolf’s house, her late partner Susan Sontag’s favorite. She would see Freud’s storied couch. She would find Emily Dickinson’s last surviving dress, Georgia O’Keeffe’s pastels, and the television Elvis shot a bullet through in 1970, hidden in a storage room at Graceland. With her kids, Leibovitz embarked on a road trip, shooting meaningful, personal, historical mementos with a digital camera. Triumphantly, her first ever all-digital exhibit has just opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. See a few choice shots in our gallery and her book, Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage .

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. Virginia Woolf’s bedroom near Charleston, England. Courtesy of Random House via The New York Times

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. The Niagara Falls in Ontario. Courtesy of Random House via The New York Times.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. The television set Elvis Presley shot in 1970, in a storage room at Graceland. Courtesy of Random House via The Washington Post.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. Handmade pastels in the O’Keefe Research Center in Santa Fe. Courtesy of Random House via The Wall Street Journal.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. Emily Dickinson’s only surviving dress at the Amherst Historical Society in Amherst, Mass. Courtesy of Random House via The New York Times.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. Sigmund Freud’s couch in his study at 20 Maresfield Gardens in London. Courtesy of Random House via The New York Times.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. A pigeon skeleton from Charles Darwin’s collection at the Natural History Museum in Tring, England. Courtesy of Random House via the The Wall Street Journal.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. A door at Georgia O’Keefe’s home in Abiquiu, N.M. Courtesy of Random House via The New York Times.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. A glass negative of a multiple-lens portrait of Lincoln made on Feb. 9, 1864, by Anthony Berger at the Brady Gallery in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Random House viaThe New York Times.

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz. Annie Oakley’s heart target from a private collection in Los Angeles, California. Courtesy of Random House via The New York Times.