The Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic exhibition features photographs by photojournalist Jerry Dantzic who received special access to Billie Holiday’s public and private life during a week-long residency at the Sugar Hill nightclub in Newark, NJ.

It also includes commentary from celebrated author Zadie Smith as well as the inclusion of ephemera like a copy of a 1957 SEE magazine, one of Dantzic’s Leica M3 camera, and other items related to jazz and blues icon Billie Holiday (1915 – 1959).

Dantzic’s photography unveils an intimate portrait of Holiday that highlights her dignity and humanity and serves to challenge the narrative that frequently defines her. Sixty years after her passing, Billie Holiday’s passion and originality come through in each of her songs and is forever immortalized in these unique photographs.

About the Artist

 Jerry Dantzic (1925-2006) was a photojournalist from the early 1950s whose works are in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and MoMA, among others. A pioneer in color panoramic photography, Dantzic won two Guggenheim Fellowships and had many solo and group exhibitions—including a featured show at MoMA. His photographs have been published in The New York Times, Life, LOOK, the Saturday Evening Post, Vanity Fair, and others.  An adjunct professor of photography for many years at Long Island University and at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, he lectured at many other institutions. His archive is managed by his son, Author/Archivist/Curator, Grayson Dantzic.


Billie Holiday holding her pet Chihuahua, Pepi, in front of Sugar Hill, Newark, New Jersey, April 18, 1957. All photographs © 2018 Jerry Dantzic/ Jerry Dantzic Archives. All rights reserved.