An Insider's Lens: The Jazz Photography of Milt Hinton

August 19 - December 23, 2014
Ripin Print Gallery

Milt Hinton, a legendary jazz bassist, made contributions both musical and photographic to that quintessentially American art form. Armed with a camera for most of his 70-year career, Hinton photographed the jazz scene from the 1930s until well after its golden age in the late 1950s. Although he took up photography as a hobby, his images now serve as valuable records of the jazz world from the perspective of one of its most celebrated insiders.

Hinton’s photos include countless jazz luminaries, among them Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, and Louis Armstrong. In addition to photographs of club bookings, concerts, and recording sessions, Hinton’s images show the vibrant jazz community that extended offstage, both in and outside of New York. They exude not only a strong sense of the camaraderie among band members, but also offer evidence of the racial prejudice that often went side by side with jazz in the American South.

The largest exhibition of Hinton’s photography to date, An Insider’s Lens features 99 photographs on loan from the Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection co-directed by David G. Berger and Holly Maxson. The AMAM exhibition coincides with ongoing collaborations between the Milt Hinton estate and the Oberlin College Library and Conservatory of Music.

The exhibition was curated by Denise Birkhofer and Curatorial Assistant Mallory Cohen (OC 2015).

Related Events:

Wednesday, November 5, 7 - 8:30pm
Hallock Auditorium, Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
122 Elm Street

Film screening: Keeping Time: The Life, Music & Photographs of Milt Hinton combines rare footage, photographs, and interviews with legendary musicians. The film follows the jazz musician’s journey—from the Jim Crow South to New York City— through his unforgettable photographs of 20th-century America.

Thursday, November 6, 5-8pm
Allen Art Building, Classroom 1
David G. Berger and Holly Maxson will speak about their work with Milt Hinton and photographs in the jazz bassist's estate. Following the talk a reception in the East Gallery will feature a performance by Peter Dominguez, professor of jazz studies and double bass in Oberlin's Conservatory of Music. Dominguez will play a bass that had belonged to Hinton.

Thursday, December 4, 5:30 p.m.
Peter Dominguez, bassist, and Bobby Ferrazza, a professor of jazz guitar at Oberlin, will perform in conjunction with the Ripin Gallery exhibition An Insider's Lens: The Jazz Photography of Milt Hinton.

Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie with friends, Nice, France, 1981. Photo by Milt Hinton
© The Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection