Smithsonian Collections

Joan Baez

Image for Joan Baez
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
From the earliest years of her career, singer and activist Joan Baez has maintained an unwavering commitment to social, political, and humanitarian causes. A vital force in the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, Baez was in her teens when she began singing and playing the guitar in Boston-area coffeehouses. Her performances at the 1959 and 1960 Newport Folk Festivals won her legions of fans and were followed by the release of a series of immensely popular recordings. Baez’s immersion in the civil rights movement was reflected in her growing repertoire of protest songs, and in 1963 she performed at the March on Washington. Strongly opposed to the Vietnam War, Baez participated in numerous antiwar protests. Jailed for “disturbing the peace,” she later explained that she was “trying to disturb the war.”
Baez came to this portrait session directly from Stanford University, where she had helped defuse tensions that threatened to spark an antiwar riot.
Yousuf Karsh, 23 Dec 1908 - 13 Jul 2002
Joan Baez, born 9 Jan 1941
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
Gelatin silver print
Image: 36.4 × 28.2 cm (14 5/16 × 11 1/8")
Sheet: 50.2 × 40.5 cm (19 3/4 × 15 15/16")
Mount: 55.9 × 45.8 cm (22 × 18 1/16")
Mat (Karsh exhibit): 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Nature & Environment\Plant\Flower
Joan Baez: Female
Joan Baez: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Joan Baez: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Guitarist
Joan Baez: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Folk
United States\California\Santa Clara\Palo Alto
Restrictions & Rights
© Estate of Yousuf Karsh