This catalogue documents the exhibition Art of Jazz, a collaborative installation at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art with one section (“Form”) installed at the Harvard Art Museum. The book explores the intersection of the visual arts and jazz music, and presents a visual feast of full color plates of artworks, preceded by a series of essays.
“Form,” curated by Suzanne Preston Blier and David Bindman in the teaching gallery of the Harvard Art Museum, ushers in a dialogue between visual representation and jazz music, showcasing artists’ responses to jazz. “Performance,” also curated by Blier and Bindman, guides us through a rich collection of books, album covers, photographs, and other ephemera installed at the Cooper Gallery. “Notes,” curated by Cooper Gallery director Vera Ingrid Grant, fills five of the gallery’s curatorial spaces with contemporary art that illustrates how late twentieth- and early twenty-first century artists hear, view, and engage with jazz.
Visual artists represented in “Form” include Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Romare Bearden, and Stuart Davis. “Performance” includes art by Hugh Bell, Carl Van Vechten, and Romare Bearden; additional album cover art by Joseph Albers, Ben Shahn, Andy Warhol, and the Fisk Jubilee Singers; and posters and photographs of Josephine Baker and Lena Horne. “Notes” includes art by Cullen Washington, Norman Lewis, Walter Davis, Lina Viktor, Petite Noir, Ming Smith, Richard Yarde, Christopher Myers, Whitfield Lovell, and Jason Moran.