38 Amazing Photos of Celebrated Female Jazz Artists of the 1940s

William Paul Gottlieb (1917-2006) was an American photographer and newspaper columnist who is best known for his classic photographs of the leading performers of the “Golden Age” of American jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. Gottlieb’s photographs are among the best known and widely reproduced images of this era of jazz.

During the course of his career, Gottlieb took portraits of hundreds of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, typically while they were playing or singing at well-known New York City jazz clubs. Well-known musicians Gottlieb photographed included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Jo Stafford, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald, Toots Thielemans, and Benny Carter.

These selected photos from his work are portraits of female jazz artists that he took from the 1940s in New York.

Billie Holiday, Downbeat, New York, Feb. 1947
Dardanelle and Joe Sinacore, Hickory House, New York, July 1947
Dardanelle, Sheraton Hotel, New York, June 1946
Deryk Sampson, Lynn Carver, Justin Arndt, and Clair Dorward, Famous Door, New York, Sept. 1947
Doris Day, Aquarium, New York, July 1946
Dottie Reid and Chubby Jackson, Onyx, New York, July 1947
Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, Sept. 1947
Ella Fitzgerald, New York, Nov. 1946
Eve Young, Jan. 1947
Gene Williams and Fran Warren, Hotel Pennsylvania, New York, Oct. 1947
Gloria King, New York, Apr. 1947
Gracie Barry and Dick Stabile, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Imogene Coca, Mary Lou Williams, and Ann Hathaway, between 1938 and 1948
Jerry Wald and Alberta Grusd, New Yorker Hotel, New York, Aug. 1947
Josephine Premice, Village Vanguard, New York, July 1947
June Christy, Club Troubadour, New York, Sept. 1947
Lena Horne, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Lilyann Carol, National studio, New York, Oct. 1946
Linda Keene, New York, July 1946
Machito and Graciela, Glen Island Casino, New York, July 1947
Margaret Whiting, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Marion Hutton, Gordon MacRae, Jerry Wald, Mel Tormé, and Jerry Jerome, Saturday Teentimers Show, New York, Aug. 1947
Mary Lou Williams, New York, 1946
Maxine Sullivan, Village Vanguard, New York, Mar. 1947
Mildred Bailey, Carnegie Hall, New York, Apr. 1947
Nellie Lutcher, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Norma Sheppard, between 1938 and 1948
Sarah Vaughan, Café Society (Downtown), New York, Aug. 1946
Sylvia Syms, Little Casino, New York, June 1947
Teddy Kaye, Vivien Garry, and Arv(in) Charles Garrison, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Vivien Garry, Dixon’s, New York, May 1947
A vocalist with Justin Stone’s ensemble, between 1938 and 1948
Adele Girard and Joe Marsala, Hickory House, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Ann Hathaway, Café Society (Downtown), New York, between 1946 and 1948
Bertha Chippie Hill, New York, between 1946 and 1948
Beryl Davis and Tommy Dorsey, WMCA, New York, Oct. 1947
Betty George, Copacabana, New York, Sept. 1947
Billie Holiday, Carnegie Hall, New York, between 1946 and 1948

(Photos by William P. Gottlieb)

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