The 50 photographs in this exhibition are part of an important recent donation to ICP by Documentary Arts, Inc., a Dallas-based organization founded in 1985 to present new perspectives on historical issues and diverse cultures. Organized by guest curator Alan Govenar, the exhibition consists of black and white prints by Houston photographer Benny Joseph (born 1924) that trace the rise of rhythm and blues music in the 1950s and 1960s. It features portraits of such celebrated performers as B.B. King, Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins, and Junior Parker, as well as non-R&B singers Mahalia Jackson and Della Reese. In addition, the exhibition includes Joseph's striking portraits of prominent African Americans of the same era, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Barbara Jordan.
The Early Years of Rhythm and Blues
Photographs by Benny Joseph from the Documentary Arts Collection