Who Shot Rock & Roll

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Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present was the first major museum exhibition of Rock music photography. The exhibit was organized by guest curator Gail Buckland at the Brooklyn Museum in 2009.[1][2][3] The exhibition toured from 2009 to 2013, visiting the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, New York), Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, Massachusetts), Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (Memphis, Tennessee), Akron Art Museum (Akron, Ohio), Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, South Carolina), Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, Alabama),[4] Tucson Museum of Art (Tucson, Arizona), Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, Pennsylvania), Annenberg Space for Photography (Los Angeles, California)[5] and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (Auckland, New Zealand).


The exhibit was a collaboration between Gail Buckland and the Brooklyn Museum, which began after the museum learned that Buckland was writing a book focusing on the photographers behind iconic rock-and-roll photographs.[6] Buckland states in the preface to her book (also named, Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955-Present), "The Brooklyn Museum...invited me to work with them to develop and curate the most exciting museum show of rock-and-roll photography ever produced. The book serves as the catalogue to this landmark exhibition."[7]

The exhibition is in six sections: behind the scenes; career beginnings; live performances; crowds and fans; portraits; images and album covers.[8] The exhibit covers over 50 years of rock-and-roll history and encompasses 175 works from more than 100 photographers.[9]

Blondie played the opening party on October 29, 2009. Debbie Harry changed her hair color to brunette for the occasion.[citation needed]

The Los Angeles exhibit featured an original documentary entitled Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film, which was commissioned by the Annenberg Foundation,[10] directed by Steven Kochones and produced by Arclight Productions.[11][12] Filmed and projected in 4K resolution, the film presents more than 600 photographs, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.


“I’m not that interested in celebrity,” Buckland said, “Substance and creativity is what interests me. If rock and roll is anything, it’s supposed to be real. That what holds it together, it’s an expression of something deep and honest within us. I chose photos that tell the story with a degree of honesty.”[13]


Images from more than 100 photographers are exhibited including:


  1. ^ Johnson, Ken (October 29, 2009). "Every Picture Tells a Story, Don't It?". Art & Design. New York Times.
  2. ^ Eagle, Ben (October 30, 2009). ""Who Shot Rock And Roll" Opens at the Brooklyn Museum". blog. Huffington Post.
  3. ^ Chiu, David (October 30, 2009). "Museum Exhibit Showcases Best of Rock Photography". Spinner.com. Retrieved 2009-11-02.
  4. ^ Colurso, Mary (July 1, 2011). "'Who Shot Rock & Roll'? Answers aplenty in stellar photo exhibit at Birmingham Museum of Art". The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  5. ^ "Who Shot Rock and Roll: Tour Schedule with Dates". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  6. ^ Kott, Crispin (October 29, 2009). "Who Shot Rock and Roll?". Freeze Frame. Chronogram Magazine. Retrieved 2009-11-02.
  7. ^ Buckland, Gail (2009). Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955-Present. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-27016-0.
  8. ^ Birmingham Museum of Art (2011). "Who Shot Rock and Roll". Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  9. ^ "Who Shot Rock and Roll at the Columbia Museum of Art". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  10. ^ "'Who Shot Rock & Roll' snaps the photographers". USATODAY.COM. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  11. ^ Wild, David (2012-06-21). "'Who Shot Rock and Roll': A Playlist of Picture Perfect Songs". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  12. ^ "Backbeat: Rock Photographers Henry Diltz, Bob Gruen, More Showcase Tina Turner, Tupac Photos in L.A." Billboard. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  13. ^ Janaya (Oct 30, 2009). "Rock Photos Take Center Stage At Brooklyn Museum". blog. WNYC. Retrieved 2009-11-02.

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