"Perfection has never been my beat," said Patti Smith, the rocker, writer, artist and legend of the downtown New York City arts scene who later made her home near Detroit.

The self-described "amateur in the highest sense" is (arguably unfairly) dismissive of the technical quality of her captivating black and white images that comprise "Camera Solo," opening at the Detroit Institute of Arts Friday. It's the second stop for the exhibit after closing at the organizing museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, in Hartford, Conn., and the first U.S. exhibition of Smith's photography.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)

DIA Associate Curator Nancy Barr said the museum made every effort to remain true to the original layout of the exhibit, which is separated into loose categories, like travel, family, writers and artists. This iteration brings new pieces: a photo of Frida Kahlo's dress, which Smith associates with Diego Riviera and therefore Detroit, as well as the guitar of her late husband Fred "Sonic" Smith, former member of the Detroit rock band MC5. Throughout the exhibit, objects infused with symbolism rest in cases, almost like altars: the guitar, Pope Benedict's slippers, items belonging to longtime friend and work partner Robert Mappelthorpe.

It's from Mappelthorpe that Smith learned to be confident in her work, and therefore unassuming.

"He extinguished my doubt," she said during a media preview for the exhibit on Thursday. "I don't doubt my core mission or core gifts."

Smith's reverence for objects and their owners continues into the images. The near 70 photographs are recent work, taken for the most part within the last 10 years, but you'd never know it. A flower, the paintbrushes, gravestones and beds of some of her idols, like Virginia Woolf and Herman Hesse -- Smith's reverent gaze imbues each of her subjects with resonance and memory, whether the photograph is of her children or a simple teacup. The show is reminiscent of the attention to detail in Smith's recent memoir, "Just Kids."

Shooting with a vintage Polaroid Land camera (the images are reproduced as small, silver gelatin prints), Smith said she enjoyed the unknown quality and immediacy of the final product, something that gave her a sense of accomplishment when she was focused on raising her children and grieving her husband. She started using the Polaroid routinely then, finding writing too difficult, though she has been taking pictures since she was a kid.

Smith is content with the imprecision of her images, which are sometimes out of focus, taken on expired film. Those artistic choices give the photographs the soft, dreamlike quality similar to two photographers Smith cites as favorites: Lewis Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron, both of whom she has admired since she was a child.

In some ways, Smith is the ultimate fan. Devotion to her muses and inspirations forms the basis of much of her art, be it writing, art or music (songs dedicated to Johnny Depp and Amy Winehouse make appearances on her forthcoming album). But her photographs go beyond mementos, talismans or homages to other artists. It's Smith's artist eye that shines a light on the simple objects of the everyday.

"Camera Solo" shows at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Avenue, from June 1 to September 2.

Loading Slideshow...
  • 'Robert's Slippers'

    "Robert's Slippers," Patti Smith, 2002, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith.

  • 'Virginia Woolf's Bed I, Monk's House'

    "Virginia Woolf's Bed I, Monk's House," Patti Smith, 2003, gelatin silver print, ed. 7/10. Purchased through the gift of Robinson A. and Nancy D. Grover, 2011.18.3. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Self-Portrait, NYC'

    "Self-Portrait, NYC," Patti Smith, 2003, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Arthur Rimbaud's Utensils, Musee Rimbaud, Charleville'

    "Arthur Rimbaud's Utensils, Musee Rimbaud, Charleville," Patti Smith, 2005, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Winged Cherubim, San Severino Marche'

    "Winged Cherubim, San Severino Marche," Patti Smith, 2009, unique Polaroid print. Gift of David and Mary Dangremond in Memory of Leicester and Mary Plant Faust. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Walt Whitman's Tomb, Camden, NJ'

    "Walt Whitman's Tomb, Camden, NJ," Patti Smith, 2007, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Jesse with Flower'

    "Jesse with Flower," Patti Smith, 2003, gelatin silver print. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, purchased through the gift of Robinson A. and Nancy D. Grover, 2011. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Scripture, Glasgow'

    "Scripture, Glasgow," Patti Smith, 2007, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • "Robert Mapplethorpe, Chelsea Hotel, 1969"

    "Robert Mapplethorpe, Chelsea Hotel, 1969," Patti Smith, 2008, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Paintbrushes, Duncan Grant's Studio'

    "Paintbrushes, Duncan Grant's Studio," Patti Smith, 2008, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'My Father's Cup'

    "My Father's Cup," Patti Smith, 2004, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Jackson Smith, NYC'

    "Jackson Smith, NYC," Patti Smith, 2006, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Fender Duo-Sonic'

    "Fender Duo-Sonic, NYC," Patti Smith, 2009, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • 'Cross With Mirror'

    "Cross with Mirror," Patti Smith, 2003, gelatin silver print. Courtesy the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Image credit: © Patti Smith

  • Also On The Huffington Post..

    Patti Smith Still Believes 'People Have the Power' In this new series, Graduate Center President Bill Kelly explores great minds that have shaped our cultural landscape. Over the course of the year, he will speak, one-on-one, with a diverse group of vital contemporary thinkers, artists, and visionaries who have indelibly impacted the fields in which they work. This debut evening features Patti Smith who speaks about her worldview of the disenfranchised and the power of using her art to protest against the violation of human rights.