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Herman Leonard, American, (March 6, 1923–August 14, 2010)
Ella Fitzgerald with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, New York City, 1948
Photographic materials on paper
11 in. x 14 in. (27.94 cm x 35.56 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Purchase, Scripps Collectors' Circle
Accession Number: 2012.2.8

Ella Fitzgerald (1917—1996), identifiable by her iconic hairstyle, sings into a microphone. Dominating the left half of the frame, she looks into the audience where Duke Ellington (1899—1974)—a longtime musical collaborator—sits beaming at her. Behind him, in glasses, is Benny Goodman (1909—1986), a swing musician who helped bring jazz outside of the African American and to white audiences. Further in the background a row of anonymous faces watch Fitzgerald. The drama of the scene evokes the atmosphere of the Harlem club where Herman Leonard shot this photograph. It captures both a crowd of jazz fans, enraptured by their star, and her artistic equals, appreciating her with a more discerning ear.

David Kuhio Ahia, PO ’18
Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern

silver gelatin photograph

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