14 Never-Before-Seen Photographs of The Great Jazz Musician | SF
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Dickerman Prints Gallery | 1141 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
Dickerman Prints Gallery and the estate of Robert Cameron are proud to exhibit 14 previously unseen photographs of Louis Armstrong — the great jazz musician — performing live in 1941.
Given free-reign to move around on stage during the performance, Robert Cameron used a 4×5” press camera — fitted with a slow burning flash unit — to make his exposures. Since it was fairly dark inside the St. Louis club, he had to focus by estimating the camera distance from the subject. The opening of the lens determined the amount of exposure the film would receive. Each exposure was made on a single sheet of 4×5” film.
When Cameron later showed the jazz legend a portrait of him improvising on stage — with saliva dripping down his chin — Armstrong said to him, “This is the best picture ever taken of me actually playing. All them others are of me just holding the trumpet up to my lips.”
This one-weekend event marks the first time in 74 years that the entire collection of photographs from that evening are being presented in contact sheet form, at the same size as the negatives.
Together, the collection offers a timeless glimpse into the music scene of a bygone era. Concurrently, it shows Armstrong doing what he was born to do: practicing an original art form that grew out of the African experience in America.
Categories: Art & Museums, Jazzed Up