The incredible archive known as the Jazz Loft Project - a collection of photos and recordings of legendary jazz musicians as they connected through a New York apartment - has been touring for the past year as a museum exhibition. Now it's in Durham, because Duke University played a big role in its development.
Former Life magazine photographer W. Eugene Smith captured the musicians and other artists as they hung out and played music in a New York loft.
His photos and tapes chronicled Thelonious Monk, Zoot Sims, Norman Mailer, Diane Arbus, Salvador Dali, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Roland Kirk, Alice Coltrane - the list goes on.
From 1957 to 1965, Smith shot 1,447 rolls of film in the dilapidated loft and surrounding neighborhood, as seen from his window. He made 1,740 reels of audiotapes.
Writer Sam Stephensen discovered the photos and tapes while researching another project on Smith at the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography.
Stephensen became practically as obsessive as Smith and spent seven years cataloging and editing the material for a book, a radio program, a website and this exhibition.
The Center for Creative Photography, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University partnered to organize the show. It has been to New York, Chicago, and Monterey, Calif. After its run in Durham, it will go to San Diego and finally to Tucson, Ariz.
The Nasher invites people to submit photographs they have from the New York jazz scene in those years. Some of the photos will be displayed in the gallery.