Coltrane and Elvin, New York

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Copied Roy DeCarava, Coltrane and Elvin, New York, 1960, printed 1982, gelatin silver print, sheet: 10 7813 78 in. (27.635.2 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by Henry L. Milmore, 1992.15.5, © 1982, Roy DeCarava

Artwork Details

Coltrane and Elvin, New York
1960, printed 1982
Not on view
sheet: 10 7813 78 in. (27.635.2 cm.)
lower right in ink: c (written in a circle) Roy DeCARAVA 1982
© 1982, Roy DeCarava
Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by Henry L. Milmore
Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
  • Figure
  • Cityscape — New York — New York
  • Performing arts — music — drum
  • Performing arts — music — voice
  • Portrait male — Coltrane, John
  • Portrait male — Jones, Elvin
Object Number

Artwork Description

DeCarava photographed the greats of New York’s jazz scene throughout a career that spanned over half a century. He often used light and shadow to create order and set a mood in these portraits. The black-and-white images are intimate and capture the sublime energy of America’s preeminent jazz musicians among them John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday. In 1962, DeCarava compiled these photographs, along with his own poetry, into a handbound volume called “The Sound I Saw,” which was published in 2001.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012