Item #6825 Thelonius Monk [photograph]. Doug Quackenbush.

Thelonius Monk [photograph]

np: Doug Quackenbush, 1964. Vintage b/w silver gelatin photograph, with Quackenbush stamp on verso. 8 x 10 in. Very good, with some toning commensurate to age, and light wear to verso. Item #6825

Silver gelatin photograph of the eminent pianist and composer Thelonius Monk, captured by the photographer Doug Quackenbush. Monk is photographed performing behind a piano, blurred into the stage.

Quackenbush was a fashion photographer by trade who also captured striking photographs of jazz musicians. He was a devoted listener of Thelonius Monk, and after a chance encounter, became the musician’s fly on the wall photographer for three months in the Summer of 1964.

Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley writes that “He took over six hundred shots of Thelonious, in black-and-white and color, creating one of the most comprehensive and compelling visual portraits of the man—second only to Nica’s collection of Polaroids taken over the course of two decades.” Kelley quotes Quackenbush’s description of the project: “Here was a man ‘being himself,’... not just in his music, but in his whole being. He looked the way he sounded, whether he was playing or dancing. I decided that I wanted to make pictures of what that looked like.” (Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, p. 361).


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