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  • Design Credit: Kacy Ellis, Photo Credit: Wynn Myers. Dimensions: H 11 in. x W 14 in.
  • Design Credit: Jeremiah Brent Design, Photo Credit: Nicole Franzen. Dimensions: H 11 in. x W 14 in.
  • Design Credit: Sarah Shetter, Photo Credit: Boris Breuer. Dimensions: H 11 in. x W 14 in.
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Jack Mitchell
Dancer & Choreographer Merce Cunningham Leaping

1962

$1,800

About

Dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham leaping, September 1962. Vintage silver gelatin exhibition photograph made by Jack Mitchell. When interviewed in 2005 Cunningham said this was one of his favorite photographs of himself. American photographer Jack Mitchell (1925-2013) was renowned for his captivating photographs of visual artists, film and theater personalities, musicians, and writers, which he documented during a remarkable career that spanned over five decades. In addition to special assignment work for The New York Times, Mitchell’s photographs of creative and performing artists have graced the covers and pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Newsweek, People, Rolling Stone, Time, Vanity Fair, and Vogue, among others.

Details

  • Creator
    Jack Mitchell (1925 - 2013, American)
  • Creation Year
    1962
  • Dimensions
    Height: 11 in (27.94 cm)Width: 14 in (35.56 cm)Depth: 0.2 in (5.08 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Senoia, GA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: Item 8312 Misc Box1stDibs: LU113728139572

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping

    Ships From: Senoia, GA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Artist

Jack Mitchell

Over his four-decade career, photographer Jack Mitchell chronicled the changing cultural landscape of mid- to late-20th-century America by capturing the greatest influencers and innovators in the performing and visual arts.

Mitchell, a master of lighting patterns in photography who had his first portrait published at the age of 15, organized more than 5,400 photographic sessions in his lifetime involving a list of sitters that is as astounding as it is long. A veritable roll call of heroes and idols, his studio guests include painters, dancers, actors, comedians, singers, composers, directors, writers, impresarios and anyone else who helped shape the zeitgeist.

During World War II, when he was only 16 years old, Mitchell photographed Veronica Lake for a Daytona newspaper. It was his first celebrity gig, but that didn’t stop the audacious wunderkind from asking the actress to sweep back her signature “peekaboo” locks so he could get her full face in the frame. Lake, who was in Florida to help the war effort and at the peak of her career, politely obliged, and the two later became lifelong friends.

Mitchell, who was openly gay (his long-term partner and manager, Robert Plavik, died in 2009), also struck up a close relationship with Gloria Swanson. From 1960 to 1970, he served as her personal paparazzo, snapping a variety of “candid” shots of the aging but eternally glamorous actress as if she were a pre-mobile/pre-social-media reality star.

The diverse publications in which Mitchell’s work has appeared — in addition to the New York Times, there’s Rolling Stone, Dance Magazine, People, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Time, Harper’s Bazaar and Newsweek — testify to the power of his arresting visual language and its ability to transcend themes and disciplines.

Mitchell also famously shot a series of intimate portraits of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in November 1980, just one month before the Beatles singer was assassinated. A picture from this session became the cover of People’s memorial issue, one of the magazine’s best-selling editions to date.

The showbiz gloss should not distract from Mitchell’s meticulous approach to photography. He insisted on producing his own prints in order to achieve what he deemed museum-quality patina and definition.

“Jack shot many rolls of black-and-white film, and always some color transparencies, of every famous person he photographed,” says Craig Highberger, a friend of the late photographer and the executive director of the Jack Mitchell Archives.

In the world of dance, the field for which Mitchell is best known, his striking and incisive shots of legendary performers and choreographers reflect the visceral energy that these luminaries introduced to the discipline in the 1960s and ’70s, widely considered the Golden Age of American dance theater.

“Jack’s photographs of dancers during his lifetime are a historic chronicle of an amazing period in dance history. He was Alvin Ailey’s dance company photographer from 1961 to 1994,” says Highberger, noting that Mitchell’s collection of 10,000 black-and-white Ailey prints now belongs to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Mitchell’s dance images are at once ethereal and powerfully dynamic. Not only do they evoke movement through elegant poses and disciplined muscular tension, but they also convey an intimate energy radiating directly from his subjects, as if he had magically unlocked a reflective mood or a character trait, without contrivance.

The collection of authentic Jack Mitchell photography on 1stDibs includes his black and white photography, color photography, nude photography and more.

About the Seller
5.0
Located in Senoia, GA
Platinum Seller
These expertly vetted sellers are 1stDibs' most experienced sellers and are rated highest by our customers.
Established in 2013
1stDibs seller since 2019
145 sales on 1stDibs
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