Smithsonian Collections

Coltrane #24

Image for Coltrane #24
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Born Hamlet, North Carolina
Regarded as one of the greatest jazz saxophonists of all time, John Coltrane (1926-1967) initially performed in the late 1940s and 1950s with small ensembles fronted by musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. He also struggled with drug and alcohol addiction before successfully overcoming these twin demons. In 1960, the year he scored a huge popular hit with his recording of "My Favorite Things," Coltrane established his own group-one that played his music and arrangements on albums including Giant Steps, A Love Supreme, and Ascension. Coltrane was a great breaker of musical forms, and by the end of his career he was playing long, improvisational compositions that sought an almost religious transcendence of the performer. Coltrane's style-both in the bebop era and in his later improvisations-continues to influence new generations of musicians.
Titled Coltrane #24, Roy DeCarava's photograph uniquely conjures the mood and intensity of a Coltrane performance.
Roy DeCarava, 9 Dec 1919 - 27 Oct 2009
John William Coltrane, 23 Sep 1926 - 17 Jul 1967
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Gelatin silver print
Image: 33.1 x 23 cm (13 1/16 x 9 1/16")
Sheet: 35.1 x 25.2 cm (13 13/16 x 9 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
John William Coltrane: Male
John William Coltrane: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
John William Coltrane: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
John William Coltrane: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
John Coltrane
Restrictions & Rights
© Roy DeCarava