Duke Ellington, Paris, 1958, 1958
Gelatin silver print
14 in. x 11 in. (35.56 cm x 27.94 cm)
[Wall text from Art Pix #1: Streetview: A Spectrum in Black and White]
"Herman Leonard captured the great jazz icons of the mid-20th century. The large frame of this portrait of Duke Ellington in profile at the piano takes an audience eye's view. Fanning across the image from the upper-right hand corner, the spotlight's white light dominates the formal elements of the image, suggesting that the city stage is what makes jazz possible. The graininess of the light as it reaches Ellington contrasts with the sharply-defined piano and bench where he finds himself seated, suggesting that the dark and smoke-filled atmosphere creates clarity for listeners.
(Catherine Parker Sweatt SC '12, Academic Year Wilson Intern, 2010-2011)
Signed, Herman Leonard
Black-and-white vertical photograph of jazz artist Duke Ellington, playing the piano in the Olympia Theater, Paris. Seated at the piano, against a darkened background, a shaft of light illuminates him from above.
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