Herman Leonard’s “Jazz Giants” Opens May 10th

Herman Leonard’s “jazz Giants” Opens May 10th At The Morrison Hotel Gallery In Soho With Newly Discovered Images. "Jazz Giants", the fine art music photography of Herman Leonard, is a photographic journey through the golden years of the Jazz, Blues and Bebop eras that document the larger-than-life legends that comprise the visual album of America's music.
Focusing on the life and times of famed artists such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk among countless others, this exhibition features a selection from Leonard's extensive photographic history. Using a unique lighting approach, Leonard's signature "backlighting" style and use of elements like smoke and strobe lighting gives his portraits a dramatic quality that is highly humanistic, capturing the illuminating personalities behind the music.

Born in Allentown, PA, Leonard discovered the camera at the young age of 11 and hasn't stopped shooting since. While stationed in Burma in the Army Medical Corps during World War II he developed film late at night in his combat helmet. Leonard studied under famed Canadian portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh and later had the invaluable opportunity to shoot Albert Einstein, Harry S. Truman, Clark Gable. In the 1950s he became the personal photographer to Marlon Brando. Leonard's fashion and advertising jobs have run in magazines like Life, Time and Playboy.

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina not only took his home, studio, and darkroom but over 6, 000 of Leonard's original photographs along with many of his exposure records were lost in the hurricane.

Leonard, now 85 and living in Los Angeles, continues to shoot, develop and exhibit his comprehensive archive. Most recently, the Smithsonian Institution honored Leonard by housing his entire collection in the permanent archives of musical history. He is also the recipient of a GRAMMY grant to archive and preserve his collection of over 65, 000 negatives and later this year he'll receive the 2008 Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Portraiture.

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