Smithsonian Collections

Painting of Duke Ellington

Image for Painting of Duke Ellington
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Description (Brief)
Acrylic on canvas painting of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, done by his granddaughter, Gaye Ellington in 1985. Ms. Ellington painted this posthumous portrait in order to create a memorial that preserved her sense of the creative and loving legacy her grandfather had left her.
In a past interview, Gaye Ellington explained the reasons that led her to create this portrait, even though portraiture is not her usual subject matter: “Ever since my grandfather had died, a lot of people had done art work representing him. They were what other people saw in my grandfather. When I looked at them, they weren’t what I thought about him, and it disturbed me. … A lot of the photographs of him where very serious. I’m not saying he was always happy. But he would turn around in a minute and smile.”
Location
Currently not on view
depicted
Ellington, Duke
maker
Ellington, Gaye
date made
1985
Physical Description
canvas (overall material)
wood (overall material)
paint (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 41 in x 40 in x 5 in; 104.14 cm x 101.6 cm x 12.7 cm
Object Name
painting
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Art
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
ID Number
1989.0369.444
accession number
1989.0369
catalog number
1989.0369.444
subject
Jazz
African American