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Coltrane on Soprano

Photography

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Coltrane on Soprano

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Roy DeCarava
American, 1919–2009

Date

1963

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Accession #

1998.45

Dimensions

Please contact the Museum for more information.

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Whether photographing the street life of Harlem, the civil rights movement, or jazz musicians, Roy DeCarava imbues his subjects with a subtle grace that is distinctly his own. Jazz musicians and performances were the focus of the Harlem-based photographer’s work for many years. This portrait of John Coltrane typifies the discerning use of light and shadow that is the hallmark of DeCarava’s work; Coltrane seems to burst from the shadow that nearly envelops him. DeCarava’s long exposure captures the great saxophone player in a kinetic moment, conveying the energy of the music he loves. His portraits of such luminaries as Billie Holiday, Lester Young, and Duke Ellington convey the sense of soulfulness and spontaneity that he believed came from “pure experience.”

Credit

Purchase with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust

Image Copyright

© Roy DeCarava, 1996