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Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill : Photographs by Jerry Dantzic
How much of a person can you capture, in photos, during one single week of their life? In April, 1957, Jerry Dantzic devoted himself to this challenge—hoping to document something deeper than just the activities and routines and performances of one of jazz music’s most iconic figures.
In the fifty-six images featured in traveling exhibition Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill—displayed at the West Baton Rouge Museum through January—Dantzic elucidates a side of Holiday not observed in other archives. Using only available light as he followed her from the stage to her strolls along Broad Street, to backstage before and after her performances—his discreet and artistic approach shines, and illustrates a distinct level of trust and interaction between he and his subject. The collection also provides a revelatory documentation of her life only two years before her tragic death at the age of forty-four.
The exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Jerry Dantzic Archives, and is accompanied by the of the same name, which includes a reflection by Zadie Smith.
Details at westbatonrougemuseum.org.
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