Billie at Braddocks, New York
Date 1952, printed 1991
Artist:Roy DeCarava, American, 1919-2009
Dimensions Overall, Image: 11 1/8 × 7 1/2 in. (28.3 × 19.1 cm) Overall, Support: 22 × 18 in. (55.9 × 45.7 cm) Overall, Mat: 24 × 20 in. (61 × 50.8 cm)
Medium Photogravure
Credit Line Museum purchase, in memory of Alice R. and Sol B. Frank
Description This is a photogravure of Billie Holiday. She is in an interior room, looking directly at the camera. She wears a decorative black short-sleeved blouse and gray skirt with white buttons on each side. The door of the restaurant/bar is over her left shoulder.
Exhibition History"The Sound I Saw: The Jazz Photographs of Roy DeCarava," The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, Ny., Jan. 20 - March 20, 1983. *This image circulated, not this object.
"Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective," The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Ny., Jan. 25 - May 7, 1996; The Art Institute of Chicago, Il., June 8 - Sept. 15, 1996; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Ca., Nov. 14, 1996 - Jan. 26, 1997; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Ma., Feb. 23 - May 4, 1997; The Saint Louis Art Museum, Mo., June 15 - Aug. 9, 1997; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Tx., Sept. 7 - Nov. 16, 1997; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Ca., Jan. 22 - April 5, 1998; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Ga., June 27 - Sept. 19, 1998; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 1998 - Jan. 4, 1999. *This image circulated, not this object.
"Silver Images: The Photography Collection at 25," Alice R. and Sol B. Frank Photo Galleries, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va., November 5, 2003 - August 2004.
"Women and the Civil Rights Movement," Photography Galleries, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, June 14 - October 30, 2016.
Published ReferencesRoy DeCarava, _The Sound I Saw: The Jazz Photographs of Roy DeCarava_, exh. cat., Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, Ny., 1983, 32, pl. 17.
Roy DeCarava, with intro. by Sherry Turner, _Roy DeCarava: Twelve Photogravures_ (Renaissance Press, 1991), 1-12.
Peter Galassi, with an essay by Sherry Turner DeCarava, _Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective_, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Ny., 1996, 117.
Inscriptions Each signed, dated and numbered in pencil in the margin
Provenance Roy DeCarava, 1991; Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, Ny.; Chrysler Museum of Art Purchase, in memory of Alice R. and Sol B. Frank, 2002.
Object Label Roy DeCarava American, 1919−2009 Billie at Braddocks, New York, 1952 Photogravure, printed 1991 In 1939 singer Billie Holiday (1915−1959) recorded the song “Strange Fruit” and confronted listeners with the horrors of lynching. “Southern trees bear a strange fruit, blood on the leaves and blood at the root,” it begins. Although Holiday’s record label declined to produce the controversial song and some clubs banned its performance, “Strange Fruit” was a success on the charts and an inspiration to the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. Here African American photographer Roy DeCarava photographs Holiday in the bar of the Braddock Hotel in Harlem, a popular haunt for the black entertainers who performed next door at the Apollo Theater. Museum purchase, in memory of Alice R. and Sol B. Frank 2002.15.7
Object Number 2002.15.7