In the Groove: Jazz Portraits by Herman Leonard

August 5, 2016 – February 20, 2017

Billie Holiday by Herman Leonard, gelatin silver print, 1949. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution © Herman Leonard Photograph

National Portrait Gallery
8th and G Streets, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, South Wing Floor Plan

Enthralled by the music and those who made it, Herman Leonard (1923–2010) began haunting the New York’s jazz clubs after opening his first studio in Greenwich Village in 1948. Armed with his Speed Graphic camera, Leonard made images that captured the very essence of a live jazz performance. Soon, his photographs were gracing album covers and appearing in the pages of DownBeat and Metronome. Leonard’s extraordinary photographs are widely regarded as the definitive portraits of many of the 20th century’s greatest jazz artists.

This exhibition from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery features Leonard’s iconic images of jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, and Sarah Vaughan.