Filed under
William Gottlieb, American (1917 - 2006)
William Gottlieb - Frank Sinatra
William Gottlieb
Frank Sinatra
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1947, Printed 1979
13 x 10 1/2 inches

Signed and titled in ink on print recto. Photography copyright stamp on verso.

View William Gottlieb - Frank Sinatra photograph

William Gottlieb was born January 28, 1917, in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, and grew up in Bound Brook, New Jersey, where his father was in the building and lumber business. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1938, with a degree in economics. While attending school, Gottlieb wrote for the weekly campus newspaper and became editor-in-chief of The Lehigh Review. In his last year of college, he began writing a weekly jazz column for The Washington Post. With pressure from his editors for visual representation to accompany his reviews, Gottlieb picked up a camera and began to photograph notable performances, teaching himself the art of photography in the process. He bought a self-described “bulky” press camera, a rater large model that was not convenient when photographing in the midst of small venues, therefore Gottlieb usually only took about 2-3 shots of each performer he encountered. He gained notoriety in the 1930s-40s for his photographs of the leading performers of the "Golden Age" of American jazz. Throughout his career, Gottlieb took portraits of some of the most important jazz musicians while they were performing at New York City jazz clubs. Well-known musicians Gottlieb photographed included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Jo Stafford, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Carter.