The Forgotten Pictures Of A Music Photography Pioneer Featured on NPR

by Chris Murray on May 30, 2014

It’s always fascinating to come upon an unknown archive of photographs. Jim Cummins photographs appeared on hundreds of album covers. Only now are his photographs becoming available to collectors. NPR just did a wonderful story on Jim Cummins. I was asked by NPR to talk about Jim Cummins’ photographs and my comments are included at the beginning of the story.

Jimi Hendrix. Copyright © Jim Cummins. All Rights Reserved.

“For more than three decades, Chris Murray ran the Govinda Gallery in Washington, D.C. He still curates shows and also edits books about rock ‘n’ roll photography.

“To find an archive that’s been lost, if you will, or overlooked, it’s always a wonderful and extraordinary thing,” he says.

In New York City, a trove of forgotten photographs depicting music icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin is being displayed for the first time. The original negatives had been boxed up for decades in photojournalist Jim Cummins’ basement.

“The thing I liked about Jim Cummins’ archive the most was the album covers,” Murray says. “I must say, it was the vinyl long-play album and the 45 [RPM record] jackets where I feel photography and music really had their greatest moments, because they entered into literally millions and millions of people’s homes.”

During the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, Cummins’ work graced more than 900 album covers.”

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