Herman Leonard’s Brilliant Jazz Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery

by Chris Murray on November 7, 2016

I just went to see Herman Leonard’s exhibition of jazz photographs at the National Portrait Gallery. It was a stunning exhibition and the panels of text accompanying each photograph are illuminating. Among the images in the exhibition were portraits of Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Chet Baker, Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan and others.

Billie Holiday. © Herman Leonard. Billie Holiday, New York 1949. © Herman Leonard.

Justin Weber wrote a terrific review of Leonard’s exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery that sums up how good the exhibition is. It was published in Washington City Paper, and here is a link to that review.

It was Govinda Gallery’s great honor to host Herman Leonard’s first exhibition twenty years ago in September of 1996. Herman came from his home in New Orleans to attend the opening reception. It was a packed house and after the opening I hosted a party with Carol Taylor Gray in Herman’s honor at her home in Georgetown. It was a lively evening that ended with a fierce arm wrestling contest between the ladies. Carlotta Hester defeated Carol Taylor Gray in the final match and Herman Leonard loved it!

Carol Taylor Gray. Carol Taylor Gray at Govinda Gallery in front of Andy Warhol’s silkscreen After the Party. © Chris Murray/Govinda Gallery Archive.

Leonard’s exhibition at Govinda was also a launch for Herman Leonard: Jazz Memories (Filipacchi, 1996), Leonard’s award-winning book of jazz photographs. Herman inscribed his book to me at the exhibition opening.

Inscribed copy of Jazz Memories. Inscribed copy of Jazz Memories. © Govinda Gallery Archive.

Charlie Parker, New York 1949. Charlie Parker, New York 1949. © Herman Leonard.

Sarah Vaughan, New York 1949. Sarah Vaughan, New York 1949. © Herman Leonard.

Herman Leonard’s photographs are available through Govinda Gallery.

Category: Blog   
© 2008 Govinda Gallery.  Proudly powered by WordPress.  Website Design by Cary Scott Additional design by Anna Jacoby.