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Icons & Idols: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Arts, 1960-1995

August 5 - October 1, 2006


The Delaware Art Museum presents Icons & Idols: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Arts, 1960-1995, an exhibition of the work of Jack Mitchell on view August 5 through October 1, 2006. During the second half of the 20th century, Mitchell photographed many of America's finest actors, directors, writers, artists, composers, musicians, dancers, and choreographers in his New York studio. His subjects have all attained iconic status in their respective fields. This exhibition features more than 130 black and white photographs, which include such celebrities as Jack Nicholson, Alfred Hitchcock, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Philip Glass, Neil Diamond, Rudolf Nureyev, and Merce Cunningham.

"We are thrilled to display Jack Mitchell's work," said Danielle Rice, Executive Director of the Delaware Art Museum. "His photographs are visually stunning and emotionally compelling. They capture both the public image of these remarkable superstars while also revealing the private individuals we may never otherwise see."

Mitchell began receiving pay for his photographic work when he was only 15 years old. After serving in the Army, he focused his talents on dancers, eventually becoming the foremost photographer of dance in the U.S. During the 1960s, he trained his lens on the best painters and sculptors in New York. And in the course of a few decades, virtuosos from an extensive array of the arts landed in his portraits. Edward Albee, Richard Avedon, Lauren Bacall, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Aaron Copland, Eric Fischl, Judith Jamison, Luciano Pavarotti, Meryl Streep, and Tennessee Williams are only some of the prominent figures whose images are on display.

During his career, Mitchell photographed thousands of special assignments for The New York Times, Dance Magazine, After Dark, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, Life, Vogue, People, Harper's Bazaar, and countless others. One of his photographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, taken weeks before Lennon's death, held the record as the best selling cover of People for over 16 years. Mitchell had a longtime working relationship with The New York Times, and much of his innovative work appeared in the Arts & Leisure section. He retired in 1995 to the town where he grew up, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

The Delaware Art Museum will welcome the artist himself on Saturday, September 16, 2006, for Seeing Stars: A Day with Photographer Jack Mitchell. The documentary Jack Mitchell: My Life Is Black and White will be shown in the DuPont Auditorium at 12:30 p.m. Following the film, a Question & Answer session will give participants a chance to ask Mitchell about his life and career from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. A book signing will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Museum Store, where the hardcover collection Icons & Idols: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Arts, 1960-1995, featuring photographs from the exhibition and more, is available for purchase. Tours of the exhibition will be held at 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. All of the day's activities are free with Museum admission.

Also on September 16, a Teacher Workshop at the Museum will familiarize educators with Icons & Idols from 12:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost to attend is $10.00. Those interested in participating must register in advance by contacting the Delaware Teacher Center at 302-736-6723.

Icons & Idols: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Arts, 1960-1995 is organized by Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and is sponsored, in part, by Darden Restaurants Foundation and Palm Bay Imports-Wines, Spirits & Beverages.

As a complement to Icons & Idols: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Arts, 1960-1995, the Delaware Art Museum is presenting Iconic Impressions: Prints from the 20th Century, an exhibition of approximately 20 prints from the Museum's permanent collection by artists pictured in Icons & Idols. On view from July 27 through September 17, 2006, Iconic Impressions includes works by Salvador Dali, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and other luminaries.

 

(above: Jack Mitchell (born 1925), Photographer Jack Mitchell (Self-Portrait), 1995, Photograph © Jack Mitchell)

 

(above: Jack Mitchell (born 1925), Merce Cunningham (Dancer/Choreographer, in his "Solo") (detail), 1975 , Photograph © Jack Mitchell)

 

(above: Jack Mitchell (born 1925), John Lennon and Yoko Ono (Musicians), 1980, Photograph © Jack Mitchell)

 

(above: Jack Mitchell (born 1925), Andy Warhol (Artist, with his dog Archie), 1973, Photograph © Jack Mitchell)

 

 

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