Best known for his iconic photographs of jazz greats such as Chet Baker and Miles Davis, Claxton has compiled this photographic album of celebrity images dating primarily from the Fifties and Sixties. The collection includes jazz musicians, artists, writers, and directors-e.g., Truman Capote, Salvador Dali, Vladimir Nabokov, and Aldous Huxley-but most of the images feature well-known actors, including Marlene Dietrich, Danny Kaye, Jack Lemmon, and Shirley MacLaine. Many of the 115 black-and-white portraits have been previously unpublished. But what makes this book remarkable is Claxton's recall of each personality and photo shoot-in particular, Claxton's chance meeting with a young, hitchhiking Dennis Hopper in 1955-which gives us an insider's view of his famous subjects. Recommended for larger general collections.
Shauna Frischkorn, Millersville Univ., PA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Many of William Claxton's photographs of American jazz musicians have become the iconic images by which we remember them--a young Chet Baker lying on his back in the studio, trumpet in hand; Bill Evans and Ray Charles at their pianos; a sparkling Sarah Vaughan; a somber Miles Davis; and countless more. Less well known is the fact that since the early 1950s, Claxton has also photographed scores of actors, directors, writers, artists, singers, and entertainers from outside the world of jazz. Photographic Memory, his first-ever monograph of these images, features more than 100 such wonderful and revealing portraits, only a handful of which have ever been seen before. Anecdotal stories by Claxton accompanying the images reveal the intimate and first-name basis with which he photographed the well-known icons of celebrity, wit, and style from the past five decades, many of them his dear personal friends. Here for the first time Claxton describes a backstage photo session with Marlene Dietrich; antique shopping with Gloria Swanson; unwittingly provoking Shirley MacLaine into a bawdy comment on a tense, crowded, film set love scene; and many other unforgettable moments. A stunningly intimate document of our most-loved film and entertainment icons, Claxton's Photographic Memory is sure to become an instant pop-culture heirloom