Artist to Icon: Early Photographs of Elvis, Dylan, and the Beatles is an exhibition of photographs from Alfred Wertheimer, Astrid Kirchherr, Jürgen Vollmer, Max Scheler and Daniel Kramer, that provide a glimpse into the lives of three music icons before they became rock ‘n’ roll legends.
Curators: Chris Bruce, Jacob McMurray, Barbara Arnett
Exhibition Design: Richard Larson
Graphic Design: Sandra Owen
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, WA, January 19, 2001 - May 1, 2001
Fender Music Museum, Corona, CA, September 2003 - December 2003
National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA, January 2004 - May 2004
Buddy Holly Museum, Lubbock, TX, June 2004 - August 2004
Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, MS, May 2005 - August 2005
Midland Center for Cultural Arts, Midland, MI, September 15, 2007 - December 31, 2007
Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo, MI, January 26, 2008 - May 26, 2008
There are certain moments that rock the world – among them are Elvis recording “Hound Dog,” the rise of Beatlemania and Dylan “going electric.” Each took earlier forms of music – country, rhythm and blues, folk, rockabilly, blues – and created new sounds that both reflected these roots of American music and gave voice to youthful identity and rebellion. Seen together, their effect was not only to invigorate music, but also to help establish the idea that popular culture was an ever-changing experiment in personal creativity, revolution and revelation.
It would be difficult to imagine pivotal moments in the careers of these musicians if it weren’t for the good fortune and impeccable timing of a few photographers. Artist to Icon presents 48 photographs documenting these artists before the world knew them as legends. The photographers were in the right places at the right times. From those moments forward, rock music expanded upon the influences of these three icons. Through these photographs, we are privileged to catch a glimpse of what it was like, when it was just about to happen.