William P. Gottlieb Collection | Library of Congress
Ahmet M. Ertegun, Duke Ellington, William P. Gottlieb, Nesuhi Ertegun and Dave Stewart at William P. Gottlieb’s home, Maryland, 1941 (by Delia Potofsky Gottlieb)
The collection consists of jazz photographs taken by writer-photographer William P. Gottlieb, from 1938 to 1948, the “Golden Age of Jazz” when swing reached its peak and modern jazz developed. While on assignment for the Washington Post, Down Beat magazine, and Record Changer, Gottlieb photographed and interviewed #jazz pioneers primarily in Washington, D.C., and New York City. A skilled craftsman, the self-taught photographer captured the personalities of jazz musicians in a sensitive, storytelling manner. The collection is an important contribution to the documentation of American culture during a time when jazz music thrived.
Gottlieb’s photographs are perhaps the most widely reproduced images of jazz musicians, such as #Louis_Armstrong, #Duke_Ellington, #Charlie_Parker, #Billie_Holiday, #Dizzy_Gillespie, #Earl_Hines, #Thelonious_Monk, #Stan_Kenton, #Ray_McKinley, #Benny_Goodman, #Coleman_Hawkins, #Ella_Fitzgerald, and #Benny_Carter.
The online collection provides access to digital images of all sixteen hundred negatives and transparencies, approximately one hundred annotated contact prints, and over two hundred selected photographic prints that show Gottlieb’s cropping, burning, and dodging preferences. One can follow the artist’s work process by examining first a raw negative, then an annotated contact print, and finally a finished, published product.