See Stunning Photos of Billie Holiday, Eartha Kitt and Other Jazz Legends From Newark Museum of Art Exhibits

The Newark Museum of Art is presenting two stunning exhibits of photography featuring Billie Holiday and a selection of jazz legends. “Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection” and “Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic” opened last month and will run through August 22, 2022.

“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 (pictured, top), 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.

This exhibition has been loaned through the Bank of America’s Art in our Communities program.

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.

“The Museum is honored to welcome the return of two luminaries in a collection that offers a new insight into a significant era in both jazz history and our city’s history,” said Linda C. Harrison, Director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art. “We hope visitors will recognize our vibrant community among the vivid dialogue and unfolding narratives this exhibition holds.”

This exhibition was organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Jerry Dantzic Archives.


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