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Benny Goodman

Artist:
Alfred Bendiner, 23 Jun 1899 - 19 Mar 1964
Sitter:
Benny Goodman, 30 May 1909 - 13 Jun 1986
Medium:
Pencil and gouache
Dimensions:
Image: 37.2 x 20.5 cm (14 5/8 x 8 1/16")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1941
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Caricature
Music\Musical instrument\Clarinet
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Clarinet
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Bandmaster
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Alfred Bendiner Foundation
Object number:
NPG.85.202
Rights:
© Alfred and Elizabeth Bendiner Foundation
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National Portrait Gallery
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Ella Fitzgerald

Artist:
Stephen Longstreet, 18 Apr 1907 - 20 Feb 2002
Sitter:
Ella Fitzgerald, 25 Apr 1917 - 15 Jun 1996
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 24.8 × 21.6 cm (9 3/4 × 8 1/2")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1975
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Earring
Ella Fitzgerald: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Ella Fitzgerald: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Stephen Longstreet
Object number:
NPG.87.278
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National Portrait Gallery
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Cab Calloway

Artist:
Walt Disney Studios, founded 1922
Animator:
Robert Stokes
Sitter:
Cab Calloway, 25 Dec 1907 - 18 Nov 1994
Medium:
Pencil and colored pencil on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 17.7cm x 14.6cm (6 15/16" x 5 3/4")
Sheet: 25.5cm x 30.5cm (10 1/16" x 12")
Type:
Drawing
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles\Hollywood
Date:
c. 1938
Topic:
Cab Calloway: Literature\Writer
Cab Calloway: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Cab Calloway: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Cab Calloway: Performing Arts\Performer\Dancer
Cab Calloway: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Miriam and Stuart Reisbord
Object number:
NPG.93.307
Rights:
© Disney Enterprises, Inc.
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National Portrait Gallery
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John Coltrane

Artist:
Stephen Longstreet, 18 Apr 1907 - 20 Feb 2002
Sitter:
John William Coltrane, 23 Sep 1926 - 17 Jul 1967
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
21.7cm x 18.6cm (8 9/16" x 7 5/16"), Image
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1965
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
John William Coltrane: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
John William Coltrane: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
John William Coltrane: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Stephen Longstreet
Object number:
NPG.87.287
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National Portrait Gallery
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Paul Whiteman

Artist:
William Auerbach-Levy, 1889 - 1964
Sitter:
Paul Whiteman, 1891 - 1967
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
26cm x 22.8cm (10 1/4" x 9"), Image
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1925
Topic:
Paul Whiteman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Conductor
Paul Whiteman: Performing Arts\Performer\Showman
Paul Whiteman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.89.126
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Oscar Levant

Artist:
Alfred Bendiner, 23 Jun 1899 - 19 Mar 1964
Sitter:
Oscar Levant, 1906 - 1972
Medium:
Black conte on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 23.2 × 33.2 cm (9 1/8 × 13 1/16")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1943
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Equipment\Sound Devices\Microphone
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Stool
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Tie\Bowtie
Oscar Levant: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Oscar Levant: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Oscar Levant: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Alfred Bendiner Foundation
Object number:
NPG.84.42
Rights:
© Alfred and Elizabeth Bendiner Foundation
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Ornette Coleman

Artist:
Elaine de Kooning, 12 Mar 1918 - 1 Feb 1989
Sitter:
Ornette Coleman, born 19 Mar 1930
Medium:
Graphite with stumping on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 30.2cm x 23.2cm (11 7/8" x 9 1/8")
Sheet: 34.5cm x 28cm (13 9/16" x 11")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1965
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Ornette Coleman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Ornette Coleman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Ornette Coleman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.96.195
Rights:
© Elaine de Kooning Trust
Exhibition Label:
Ornette Coleman #1
At some point in the mid-1960s, Elaine, who had always been fond of jazz, made a series of drawings of Ornette Coleman (born 1930) with his saxophone. The album Free Jazz (1961) by the Ornette Coleman Double Quartet—with its lengthy track and freewheeling, atonal, and discordant sound—changed the shape of jazz.
Through erasure, stumping, and improvisational graphite lines, Elaine created drawings that capture Coleman’s likeness while giving a visual sense of jazz’s rhythm and movement. She made at least three likenesses: this improvisational sketch, a drawing focused entirely on Coleman’s disembodied head (displayed to the right), and a more finished image that includes Coleman’s hands and his saxophone (in a private collection).
En algún momento de mediados de los sesenta, Elaine, eterna aficionada del jazz, hizo una serie de dibujos de Ornette Coleman (nacido en 1930) con su saxofón. El álbum Free Jazz (1961) del Ornette Coleman Double Quartet, con sus largas pistas y su sonido libre, atonal y discordante, cambió el rumbo del jazz.
Valiéndose de borraduras, difuminados y líneas improvisadas en grafito, Elaine creó dibujos que captan la imagen de Coleman y transmiten una sensación visual del ritmo y el movimiento del jazz. Hizo por lo menos tres retratos: este boceto improvisado, un dibujo de la cabeza sin cuerpo de Coleman (mostrado a la derecha) y una imagen más terminada que incluye las manos y el saxofón (ahora en una colección privada).
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Exhibition:
Elaine de Kooning: Portraits
On View:
NPG, West Gallery 250
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
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Dizzy Gillespie

Artist:
Stephen Longstreet, 18 Apr 1907 - 20 Feb 2002
Sitter:
Dizzy Gillespie, 21 Oct 1917 - 6 Jan 1993
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 26.8 × 20.5 cm (10 9/16 × 8 1/16")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1978
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Trumpet
Dizzy Gillespie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Dizzy Gillespie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Trumpet
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Stephen Longstreet
Object number:
NPG.87.279
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Eddie Condon

Artist:
William Auerbach-Levy, 1889 - 1964
Sitter:
Albert Edwin Condon, 16 Nov 1905 - 4 Aug 1973
Medium:
Black and gray ink on paper
Dimensions:
57.2cm x 28.8cm (22 1/2" x 11 5/16"), Image
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1937-1947
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Tie\Bowtie
Albert Edwin Condon: Literature\Writer
Albert Edwin Condon: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Guitarist
Albert Edwin Condon: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.89.136
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National Portrait Gallery
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Roy Eldridge

Artist:
Stephen Longstreet, 18 Apr 1907 - 20 Feb 2002
Sitter:
Roy Eldridge, 30 Jan 1911 - 26 Feb 1989
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 27.9 × 21.6 cm (11 × 8 1/2")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1970
Topic:
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette
Music\Musical instrument\Trumpet
Roy Eldridge: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Stephen Longstreet
Object number:
S/NPG.87.285
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Popular Song Composers

Artist:
Al Hirschfeld, 21 Jun 1903 - 21 Jan 2003
Sitter:
Richard Rodgers, 28 Jun 1902 - 30 Dec 1979
Lorenz Milton Hart, 2 May 1895 - 22 Nov 1943
Cole Porter, 9 Jun 1892 - 15 Oct 1964
Harold Arlen, 15 Feb 1905 - 23 Apr 1986
Dorothy Fields, 15 Jul 1905 - 28 Mar 1974
Jerome Kern, 27 Jan 1885 - 11 Nov 1945
Johnny Mercer, 19 Nov 1909 - 25 Jun 1976
Ira Gershwin, 6 Dec 1896 - 17 Aug 1983
Irving Berlin, 11 May 1888 - 22 Sep 1989
Hoagy Carmichael, 22 Nov 1899 - 20 Dec 1981
George Gershwin, 26 Sep 1898 - 11 Jul 1937
Duke Ellington, 29 Apr 1899 - 24 May 1974
Medium:
Ink over pencil on illustration board
Dimensions:
Image/Board: 60.9cm x 50.4cm (24" x 19 13/16")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1983
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Earring
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Necklace\Pearl
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigar
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Pipe
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Duke Ellington: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Cole Porter: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Cole Porter: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Lyricist
Cole Porter: Oscar
Richard Rodgers: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Richard Rodgers: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Richard Rodgers: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Lyricist
Richard Rodgers: Pulitzer Prize
Richard Rodgers: Oscar
Hoagy Carmichael: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Hoagy Carmichael: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Hoagy Carmichael: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Hoagy Carmichael: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Hoagy Carmichael: Oscar
Lorenz Milton Hart: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Lyricist
Harold Arlen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Harold Arlen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Popular
Harold Arlen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Harold Arlen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Arranger
Harold Arlen: Oscar
Dorothy Fields: Education\Educator\Teacher
Dorothy Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Dorothy Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Popular
Dorothy Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Lyricist
Dorothy Fields: Oscar
Jerome Kern: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Jerome Kern: Oscar
Johnny Mercer: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Johnny Mercer: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Popular
Johnny Mercer: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Johnny Mercer: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Lyricist
Johnny Mercer: Oscar
George Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
George Gershwin: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Portraitist
George Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
George Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
George Gershwin: Congressional Gold Medal
Ira Gershwin: Visual Arts\Artist
Ira Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Ira Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Ira Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Lyricist
Ira Gershwin: Pulitzer Prize
Ira Gershwin: Congressional Gold Medal
Irving Berlin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Irving Berlin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Irving Berlin: Military and Intelligence\Army
Irving Berlin: Oscar
Irving Berlin: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Irving Berlin: Congressional Gold Medal
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.84.323
Rights:
© Al Hirschfeld. Art reproduced by special arrangement with Hirschfeld's exclusive representative, the Margo Feiden Galleries, Ltd., New York.
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Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
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Benny Goodman

Artist:
Burton Philip Silverman, born 11 Jun 1928
Sitter:
Benny Goodman, 30 May 1909 - 13 Jun 1986
Medium:
Pencil on paper
Dimensions:
image: 40.4cm x 35.6cm (15 7/8" x 14"), Accurate
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1977
Topic:
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Clarinet
Benny Goodman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Bandmaster
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Irving and Frances Phillips
Object number:
NPG.89.227
Rights:
© Burton Philip Silverman / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
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Ethel Waters

Artist:
Alfred Bendiner, 23 Jun 1899 - 19 Mar 1964
Sitter:
Ethel Waters, 1896 - 1977
Medium:
Pencil, ink and gouache on board
Dimensions:
Sheet: 15.1 × 15.6 cm (5 15/16 × 6 1/8")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1940
Topic:
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Pipe
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Stool
Caricature
Ethel Waters: Literature\Writer
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Blues
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Alfred Bendiner Foundation
Object number:
NPG.85.194
Rights:
© Alfred and Elizabeth Bendiner Foundation
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National Portrait Gallery
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Lester Young

Artist:
Alfred Bendiner, 23 Jun 1899 - 19 Mar 1964
Sitter:
Lester Willis Young, 27 Aug 1909 - 15 Mar 1959
Medium:
Crayon on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 23.1 × 32 cm (9 1/8 × 12 5/8")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1945
Topic:
Caricature
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Lester Willis Young: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Lester Willis Young: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Alfred Bendiner Foundation
Object number:
NPG.85.199
Rights:
© Alfred and Elizabeth Bendiner Foundation
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Paul Whiteman

Artist:
Henry Major, 1889 - 1948
Sitter:
Paul Whiteman, 1891 - 1967
Medium:
Pencil on paper
Dimensions:
36.7 x 23 cm (14 7/16 x 9 1/16" ), Estimate
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1930
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Music\Musical instrument\Drum
Interior\Performing Arts
Paul Whiteman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Conductor
Paul Whiteman: Performing Arts\Performer\Showman
Paul Whiteman: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.87.10
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National Portrait Gallery
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Fats Waller

Artist:
Alfred Bendiner, 23 Jun 1899 - 19 Mar 1964
Sitter:
Fats Waller, 1904 - 1943
Medium:
Pencil on paper
Dimensions:
20cm x 17.1cm (7 7/8" x 6 3/4"), Image
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1941
Topic:
None
Fats Waller: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Fats Waller: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Fats Waller: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer
Fats Waller: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Fats Waller: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.84.37
Rights:
© Alfred and Elizabeth Bendiner Foundation
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Louis Armstrong

Artist:
Ben Shahn, 12 Sep 1898 - 14 Mar 1969
Sitter:
Louis Armstrong, 4 Aug 1901 - 6 Jul 1971
Medium:
Gouache on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 30.9 x 25.3cm (12 3/16 x 9 15/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1956
Topic:
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Trumpet
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2006.32
Rights:
© Estate of Ben Shahn/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Exhibition Label:
Ben Shahn's 1956 drawing is one of a series commissioned by Edward R. Murrow and CBS producer Fred Friendly for a documentary on the legendary trumpeter, singer, and bandleader Louis Armstrong. Shahn had recently represented the United States at the Venice Biennale and been asked to give a prestigious series of lectures at Harvard. Armstrong was hitting even greater peaks of international renown. Performing in Europe in 1956, Armstrong and his band were sent by CBS on a historic side trip to Africa. In May Armstrong received worldwide attention performing for a huge crowd in Accra, Ghana. The African visit was an exhilarating experience for Armstrong, who felt especially connected to the Ghanaian people. Murrow's documentary was first edited for a television show and then released by United Artists as the documentary film Satchmo the Great (1957).
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National Portrait Gallery
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Duke Ellington

God is Love
Artist:
Tony Bennett, born 3 Aug 1926
Sitter:
Duke Ellington, 29 Apr 1899 - 24 May 1974
Medium:
Watercolor and graphite on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 36 x 51 cm (14 3/16 x 20 1/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1993
Topic:
Nature & Environment\Plant\Flower\Rose
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Duke Ellington: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Tony Bennett
Object number:
S/NPG.2008.99
Rights:
Deed of Gift transfers copyright to NPG
Exhibition Label:
In the first rank of American composers, Duke Ellington was "beyond category": his more than 2,000 jazz compositions include "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady," as well as Black, Brown and Beige and the later "Sacred Concerts." Legendary performer Tony Bennett (born Anthony Benedetto), who has had a lifelong interest in painting, here portrays the man he celebrated as his mentor. "When I worked on his portrait, I was inspired by the look of divine serenity on his face," Bennett noted, and he inscribed the painting, "God Is Love." Whenever Ellington completed a new piece, he sent Bennett roses to mark the occasion, and their presence here reflects the close bond the two artists shared.
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Fatha Hines

Artist:
Al Hirschfeld, 21 Jun 1903 - 21 Jan 2003
Sitter:
Earl Kenneth Hines, 1905 - 1983
Medium:
Ink and watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 37.5 x 53.2cm (14 3/4 x 20 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1cm (22 x 28") Horizontal
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1979
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigar
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Scarf
Earl Kenneth Hines: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Earl Kenneth Hines: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2010.61
Rights:
© Al Hirschfeld. Art reproduced by special arrangement with Hirschfeld's exclusive representative, the Margo Feiden Galleries, Ltd., New York.
Exhibition Label:
Born Duquesne, Pennsylvania
Al Hirschfeld’s drawing of Earl “Fatha” Hines is a variant of the one published on the cover of Stereo Review in February 1980, when the jazz pianist was awarded the magazine’s annual Certificate of Merit for outstanding contributions to the quality of American musical life. Stanley Dance, credited with reviving Hines’s career in 1964, noted in his accompanying article that “for more than fifty years Hines has been famous for the independence of his two hands.” Jazz commentators marveled at Hines’s ability to establish a separate rhythm and melody with his left hand rather than just keeping the beat. On one occasion, while listening to a playback, Hines himself commented that “the left hand got away from the right.” Through the double-imaging of the hands and the long flexible fingers, Hirschfeld, a jazz aficionado himself, conveys independence, movement, and speed.
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Ethel Waters

Artist:
Beauford Delaney, 1901 - 1979
Sitter:
Ethel Waters, 1896 - 1977
Medium:
Pastel on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 65 x 49.6 cm (25 9/16 x 19 1/2")
Frame: 90.5 × 75 cm (35 5/8 × 29 1/2")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1940
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Earring
Ethel Waters: Literature\Writer
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Blues
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; purchase partially supported through the generosity of the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Charitable Trust, Amy and Marc Meadows; and Jewell Robinson
Object number:
NPG.2011.7
Exhibition Label:
Born Chester, Pennsylvania
African American artist Beauford Delaney first gained a reputation in New York City in the 1930s with distinctive pastel portraits like this image of blues singer and actress Ethel Waters. New York, Delaney claimed, “had a rhythm as distinct as the beating of a human heart. . . . I paint people, . . .and in their faces I hope to discover that odd, mysterious rhythm.” The artist’s passion for jazz and blues took him frequently to the nightclubs of Harlem and Greenwich Village, where he began making portraits of the musicians he met, including Waters, W. C. Handy, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. Waters, who already had a busy recording, touring, and Broadway career, was a particular favorite. After hearing one performance, Delaney wrote that she made him “proud to be a Negro.” He and his protégé, James Baldwin, would often listen to, and sing along with, her music.
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National Portrait Gallery
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