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Billie Holiday in Sugar Hill


The exhibition Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic features photographs by a photojournalist Jerry Dantzic who received special access to public and private life from Billie Holiday during a week-long residency at Sugar Hill nightclub in Newark, NJ.

It also includes commentary from acclaimed author Zadie Smith as well as the inclusion of ephemera like a copy of a 1957 SEE magazine, one of Dantzic’s Leica M3 cameras and other items related to the icon of the jazz and blues Billie Holiday (1915 – 1959).

Dantzic’s photography unveils an intimate portrait of Holiday that showcases her dignity and humanity and serves to challenge the narrative that frequently defines her. Sixty years after her death, Billie Holiday’s passion and originality shine through in each of her songs and are forever immortalized in these unique photographs.

Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic is organized by the Traveling Exhibitions Department of the Smithsonian Institution in cooperation with the Jerry Dantzic Archives.

Jerry Dantzic (1925-2006) was an early 1950s photojournalist whose works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and MoMA, among others. A pioneer in color panoramic photography, Dantzic has won two Guggenheim Fellowships and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, including an exhibition at MoMA. His photographs have appeared in The New York Times, Life, LOOK, The Saturday Evening Post, Vanity Fair and others. An assistant professor of photography for many years at Long Island University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, he has lectured at many other institutions. His archives are managed by his son, author/archivist/curator, Grayson Dantzic.

Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic
Until August 21, 2022
The Newark Museum of Art
49 Washington Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102

The accompanying book of the exhibition:
Jerry Dantzic: Billie Holiday in Sugar Hill
With a reflection by Zadie Smith
Published by Thames & Hudson
by Jerry Dantzic (Author), Grayson Dantzic (Text by), Zadie Smith (Introduction by)