Did you hear? April 30 is International Jazz Day! So I thought I’d search the Prints and Photographs collections to get an idea of what we have to represent the celebrated music genre- that thing we call jazz! The cartoon drawing below epitomizes the exuberance and dynamic feeling of the music!
There are many gems in our collections that call out to me as I browse our Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. One particularly cool image was a fun color shot by Carol Highsmith, shown below.
Some of my favorite jazz pictures come from the Carl Van Vechten Photographs Collection of images taken between 1932 and 1964. The bulk of this collection consists of portrait photographs of celebrities, including many notable figures from the Harlem Renaissance. A sampling of these well-known artists can be seen below in the charismatic portraits of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Bessie Smith. Check out the Performing Arts blog, In the Muse, to read a wonderful post by Cait Miller about Bessie Smith material held in the Music Division!
Our collections encompass the inspiring range of participants and activities in the jazz world. Pictures of ordinary people throughout the decades have been captured performing and enjoying the sweet sounds and melodies, as well.