Club Dantzic: Jazz is Life. Life is Jazz.

“ This is the most elegant and cool exhibit we have ever had.  The photos of Louis Armstrong and Gene Krupa have a fantastic energy.  With this exhibition we’ve managed to transform artspace into the hippest place in town.” -----William Joyce

artspace was transformed into a 1950’s Jazz Club setting for the CLUB DANTZIC Exhibition that included never-before-seen photos of 1950’s and 60’s Jazz Legends by Jerry Dantzic and a collection from the Ogden Museum of Art in New Orleans. During the 1950s, Dantzic captured the essence of New York: the musicians, showgirls, boxers, and the habitués of Coney Island, Chinatown, Broadway and other neighborhoods, as well as the city’s glamour.

Dizzy Gillespie, 2nd NY Jazz Festival, Randall's Island, 1957, photo by Jerry Dantzic

Jerry Dantzic's photographs have appeared for the past forty-five years in such publications as the The New York TimesLifeLook,2wiceVanity Fair, and American Photo. His work has been shown in countless solo and group shows, and is now in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art.

During the artspace Club Dantzic Exhibition, guests will be transported back in time to experience the 1950’s through Dantzic’s black and white photographs, performances by jazz musicians and culinary delights from the café @ artspace.  Grayson Dantzic, Jerry Dantzic’s son, has put together this collection of his father’s photography just for artspace.

CLUB DANTZIC will also include photography by Dantzic from the “1958 Timex All-Star Jazz Show” on loan from the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.  These rare photographs highlight another facet of the career of Jazz great Louis Armstrong, this time in partnership with Kentucky native Lionel Hampton, rehearsing for a show at the CBS Studios in New York City.  Dantzic’s classic photographs capture the exhilaration of the music and the sheer delight of these musicians to be in one another’s company.

JERRY DANTZICBIO (1925 – 2006)

Jerry Dantzic and son, Grayson, photo by Cynthia Grayson

From 1951 Dantzic worked in New York as a publicity writer by day and took night courses at Columbia University. Joining the Columbia Camera Club, he shared a darkroom with Garry Winogrand, George Zimbel, and other aspiring photographers. In 1953, inspired by the Alexey Brodovitch Workshop he had attended, he quit his job and went to Mexico for two months. In a letter at that time, he wrote, "For better or worse I have taken the plunge as a photojournalist."

Dantzic returned to New York to pursue work as a freelancer and became a member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers in 1956.  He worked for numerous publications of the day including, among others, Saturday Evening PostThe New York TimesLook andLife. In 1958 he moved to Manhattan, opening a studio on West 31st Street, and married Cynthia Mans Gross. While continuing to work as a photojournalist in the 1970s and 1980s, Dantzic developed a unique specialty, panoramic photography.  His pioneering color panoramic work won him two Guggenheim Fellowships and a solo exhibition in 1978 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, curated by John Szarkowski.  Dantzic spent more than twenty-five years as an educator, teaching at Long Island University and at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and lecturing at many other institutions.


May 21