The Huntsville Museum of Art is thrilled to welcome the works of the Jack Mitchell Archives back into the galleries. The upcoming exhibition, Jack Mitchell: Artists, will focus on photographs of creative and performing artists taken during Mitchell’s illustrious career.
American photographer Jack Mitchell was both a portraitist and a capturer of complex motion. His emphasis on creating high-contrast images distinguishes his work from that of other well-known photographers of his generation. He was an expert in lighting and worked mostly, though not entirely, in black and white.
Mitchell was renowned for his captivating photographs of visual artists, film and theater personalities, musicians, and writers, which he documented during a remarkable career that spanned over five decades. In addition to 25 years of special assignments for The New York Times, Mitchell’s photographs graced the covers and pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Newsweek, People, Rolling Stone, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and many others. Over the course of his career, Mitchell became known — by his subjects, by the magazine and newspaper editors he worked for, and by critics — as someone who could make a photograph reveal character.
“We have all heard of someone described as a born writer, ballplayer, or musician, but I would wager that few of us have heard of someone described as a born photographer. Perhaps, this is because one simply needs too many things to make a photograph. However, even though I know that no one is ever a born writer, much less a born photographer, I am tempted to make an exception in the case of Jack Mitchell,” says the poet John Yau in the book Icons & Idols: A Photographer’s Chronicle of the Arts, 1960-1995 by Jack Mitchell and Edward Albee.
This exhibition presents over 50 photographs of important visual, musical, and literary artists captured by Mitchell between 1963 and 1995. Highlights include director-screenwriter Alfred Hitchcock, singer-songwriter Carly Simon, playwright Tennessee Williams, composer Philip Glass, choreographer Mark Morris, artists Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, sculptor Louise Nevelson, painters Julian Schnabel and Jasper Johns, and more. The Jack Mitchell Archives also graciously lent additional materials for the exhibition, such as photographic and print ephemera, to provide a wider view of Mitchell’s amazing life and career.
Jack Mitchell: Artists opens at the Huntsville Museum of Art on May 16, 2021 and closes on August 8, 2021. The fascinating exhibition will be on display in the Adtran, Jurenko and Thurber galleries of the Museum and will be included with the general price of admission. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk in the lobby of the Museum or online here. The Huntsville Museum of Art still asks that visitors wear a face mask at all times while inside.