James Moody photograph by Herman Leonard
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James Moody photograph by Herman Leonard

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Leonard, Herman, 1923-2010.
Title: James Moody photograph by Herman Leonard
Dates: 1951
Extent: 0.28 cubic feet (1 oversize item)
Identification: MS 2556

Biographical/Historical Note

James Moody (1925-2010) was born in Savannah, Georgia to James and Ruby Moody. He was raised in Newark, New Jersey. Despite being born partially deaf, Moody began playing saxophone at age 16. After serving in the Army Air Forces, where he played in an all African American band, Moody's career started with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. He was a jazz saxophonist and flutist known for his musical dexterity, spirited performance style, and his lifelong dedication to deepening his musical education. He died in San Diego.

Herman Leonard (1923-2010) was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania to Jewish immigrants from Romania. He started taking photographs while in high school, then graduated from Ohio State University in 1947 with a Bachelors of FIne Arts degree in photography. Leonard apprenticed with master portrait photographer, Yousef Karsh before opening a studio in New York City's Greenwich Village. There, he began photographing jazz greats, though his work was not widely exhibited until the 1980s. Leonard later lived in Paris, Ibiza, and New Orleans. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina demolished Herman's home and studio, including 8000 prints. However, his negatives were preserved in storage beneath the Ogden Museum in New Orleans. He died in Los Angeles.


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a Herman Leonard photograph of James Moody taken in New York in 1951. It is a limited edition, # 14/50 gelatin silver print signed and titled with edition for front and back in pencil by the artist. The print was made by the artist in 1990. The photograph is 20" x 24", matted and framed in a black metal frame.

In the photograph, James Moody stands with his instrument in one hand and a burning cigarette in the other. The photograph was shot with a Speed Graphic camera using 4" x 5" sheet film.


Index Terms

Gelatin silver prints.
Jazz musicians--Portraits.
Leonard, Herman, 1923-2010.
Moody, James, 1925-2010.
New York (N.Y.)--1950-1960.
Portrait photography.
Saxophonists.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The photograph was purchased in August 1990 from the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.

Preferred Citation

James Moody photograph by Herman Leonard, MS 2556, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of James Battin, 2013.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and as the owner of copyright in items created by the donor. Although copyright was transferred by the donor, copyright in some items in the collection may still be held by their respective creator(s). For further information contact the Division of Library and Archives.