William P. Gottlieb, Library of Congress archives

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 PostDown 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.

Cover image: Thelonious Monk, Minton’s Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. Previous image: 52nd Street, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1948. This image: Billie Holiday, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947.

This image: Fats Navarro, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948. Next image, left: Nat King Cole, New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947. Next image, right: Charlie Parker, Tommy Potter, Miles Davis, and Max Roach, Three Deuces, New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1947.

Next image: Erroll Garner, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948.

This image: Cab Calloway, Columbia studio, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947. Next image, left: Nat King Cole, New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947. Next image, right: Louis Armstrong, between 1938 and 1948.

This image: June Christy and Bob Cooper, 1947 or 1948. Next image: Dizzy Gillespie, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947.

Previous image: Mary Lou Williams, New York, N.Y., ca. 1946. This image: Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton)Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New
York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. Next image: Gilbert J. Pinkus, Three Deuces, New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1947.

Mel Tormé, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948.

This image: Lionel Hampton and Arnett Cobb, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. June 1946. Next image, left: Sarah Vaughan, Café Society (Downtown), New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1946. Next image, right: Duke Ellington, Washington, D.C., between 1938 and 1948. Last image: Frank Sinatra, Liederkrantz Hall, New York, N.Y., ca. 1947

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