If the Brooks Museum’s newest exhibit proves anything, it’s that musicians make great subjects. They dance, they have collections of odd friends and striking looks, and they make some really amazing faces.
“Who Shot Rock” is a music photography exhibit that features photos of musicians and their fans from 1955 through the present. The quantity of photos is staggering – the show packs about six rooms of the Brook’s downstairs gallery with portraits, concert photos, album art and music videos.
The exhibit is grouped into sections – portraits, fans, behind the scenes photos, etc. The first gallery focuses on artists at the beginning of their careers. There are photos of Elvis kissing a girl in a stairwell by an unknown freelance photographer named Alfred Wertheimer who was given complete access to the king. There are photos of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones at the very edge of stardom (and good lord, do they look young).
I loved the range of photos and subject matter in the exhibit. Contrary to what the show’s title would have you believe, the photos feature more than just rock’n'rollers. Rappers (Lil’ Kim, Eminem, a very cute photo of Jay-Z and P-Diddy playing on their Blackberries), soul singers, and rebels of all kinds are represented.
Diehard fans will get a kick out of seeing the original copies of legendary photos – Johnny Cash with his middle finger raised at Folsom Prison, the portrait of Bob Dylan that became the “Blonde on Blonde” cover, the Rolling Stones at Altamont.
“Who Shot Rock” will be on display until September 26th. It’s included as part of regular museum admission. (Sidenote – Wednesday is pay-what-you-can day at the Brooks).
June 26th – September 26th, 2010