Newark Museum of Art Presents Two Photography Exhibits Featuring Jazz Legends

Images feature Billie Holliday, Eric Dolphy and other jazz legends

The Newark Museum of Art is currently presenting two excellent exhibits of photography featuring Billie Holiday and a selection of jazz legends.

Titled “Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection” and “Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic,” both exhibitions will be open until August 22, 2022.

As Variety reports, “Jazz Greats” includes 33 photographs by 15 photographers that date from the 1920s to the 1980s, including Miles Davis, John & Alice Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Eric Dolphy, Louis Armstrong, Eartha Kitt, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dizzy Gillespie, along with photos of amateur musicians performing in their local communities, as well as their audiences.

The artworks on display were captured by photographers as renowned as their subjects — William Gottlieb, a photographer and newspaper columnist who captured the golden age of jazz in the 1930s and 1940s; Michael Abramsone, known for his documentation of the nightlife of Chicago’s south side through intimate portraits and stills; Milt Hinton, the self-proclaimed “amateur photographer” and jazz bassist who captured jazz greats like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, and others.

On the other hand, the Holiday exhibit features a collection of largely-unseen photographs taken in 1957 by Jerry Dantzic, a photojournalist who received a rare glimpse of the singer when he documented the week of her performance run at the Sugar Hill nightclub in Newark, NJ. Two years before Holiday’s death, Dantzic’s lens captures intimate moments of the artist’s life, both on and off stage with her family, friends and dog, Pepi.

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