As we look toward the final weeks of the Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection exhibition on view through August 21, I’m delighted to report how moved and enthusiastic our visitors have been by encountering these exceptional images. Not only do they represent six decades of the most influential and innovative musicians of the twentieth century, just as notable are the photographers who created them.

Gordon Parks (American, 1912‑2006). Music ‑ That Lordly Power, 1993. Gelatin silver print. Bank of America Collection. Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation

At our various events over the run of the show, it’s been my great pleasure to chat with folks, some of whom remember Newark’s deep history as a city of jazz, where many of the musicians pictured performed in the numerous clubs that the city was once home to. Our Buzz-Feed-style interactive quiz asking “Which Jazz Great Art You?” has been a hit with our intergenerational crowd, who walk away with pins indicating their match—from Billie Holiday, to Sarah Vaughan, to Miles Davis, to John Coltrane!

The media has taken note, too. Jazz Greats has garnered attention and stories in Jazz Times, Baristanet, Hyperallergic, and Variety, as well as at the Jersey City Jazz Fest, and even a coveted spot on WNYC’s All of It with Allison Stewart, featuring our own Millicent Matthews, Manager of Traveling Exhibitions, and Catherine Evans, Deputy Director of Collections & Curatorial Strategies.

We are immensely grateful to Bank of America and their extraordinary Art in Our Communities® program, which so generously lent us this glorious exhibition.

See you at the Museum,

Linda C. Harrison
Director and CEO
The Newark Museum of Art