Jill Furmanovsky

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Photograph of Charlie Watts

Jill Furmanovsky (born 1953) is a British photographer who has specialised in documenting rock musicians.

Life and work[edit]

Born in Southern Rhodesia, Furmanovsky emigrated with her parents and brother Michael to London in 1965. She studied textile and graphic design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design from 1972 to 1974. In 1972, she became the official photographer at the Rainbow Theatre, a significant venue for rock performances in the 1970s.[1]

Furmanovsky has photographed many major rock musicians, including Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield, The Ramones, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Blondie, The Police, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Pretenders and Oasis. Her book, The Moment – 25 Years of Rock Photography was published in 1995, and an exhibition of Oasis photographs, Was There Then, toured the UK and Ireland in 1997. The exhibition was followed by publication of the book Was There Then – A Photographic Journey with Oasis.[2]

Furmanovsky has received several awards for her music photography, including 'The Jane Bown Observer Portrait Award' for her portrait of Charlie Watts in 1992.[1] Following in the footsteps of the photographic co-operative Magnum Photos, Furmanovsky established a website — rockarchive.com — in 1998. The aim was to make the work of Furmanovsky and photographic colleagues and visual artists more accessible to fans and collectors.

To launch the project, Furmanovsky selected 30 classic black and white images of major rock artists from her 30-year archive, to make into an edition of 30 darkroom prints. Edition 30/30/30, as it became known, was the first collection for a project that now publishes more than 750 images by 60 photographers and art directors. The Rockarchive philosophy is to encourage recognition for the art of rock photography and to protect the rights of its practitioners. Rockarchive also promotes lesser-known work by high-profile photographers and the work of up-and-coming photographers.[1][3]

Photographers whose work is represented in the rockarchive collection include Alfred Wertheimer, Bob Gruen, Gered Mankowitz, Ian Dickson, Kevin Cummins, Mick Rock, Sheila Rock and Storm Thorgersen.


  • The Moment: 25 Years of Rock Photography, 1995, London, Paper Tiger, ISBN 978-1850281498
  • Was There Then Oasis. A Photographic Journey, 1997, London, Ebury Press, ISBN 978-0091863180


  1. ^ a b c Watts, Halina (14 May 2015). "Photographer who snapped icons Oasis, Bob Dylan and Amy Winehouse opens up her archive". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Was, There, Then: Oasis Photo Tour, Ebury Press, 1997, ISBN 978-0091863180
  3. ^ "Rock Archive, About Us". rockarchive.com. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 

External links[edit]