Gottlieb Jazz Photos
Celebrated jazz artists come to life in photographs by William P. Gottlieb. His images document the jazz scene in New York City and Washington, D.C., from 1938 to 1948, a time recognized by many as the "Golden Age of Jazz".

Gottlieb was both a notable jazz journalist and a self-taught photographer who captured the personalities of jazz musicians and told their stories with his camera and typewriter. His portraits depict such prominent musicians and personalities as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, and many more.

The first 219 images in this set show the photos published alongside the photographer's personal recollections in his book, The Golden Age of Jazz. We'll add more photos each month until all 1,600 are in Flickr, with thanks to our Music Division for contributing such dramatic images.

To learn more about William Gottlieb, visit the Library's Performing Arts Encyclopedia, Gottlieb Collection. By looking at Gottlieb’s negatives here, you’ll see examples of the raw camera images and also copies of his final cropped images for insight into the creative process. At LOC, we also have special features like interviews with Gottlieb, ”In His Own Words".

In accordance with the wishes of William Gottlieb, the photographs in this collection entered into the public domain on February 16, 2010, but rights of privacy and publicity may apply. Privacy and publicity rights protect the interests of the person(s) who may be the subject(s) of the work or intellectual creation. Users of photographs in the Gottlieb collection are responsible for clearing any privacy or publicity rights associated with the use of the images.
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