Smithsonian Collections

Duke Ellington

Image for Duke Ellington
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
In the first rank of American composers, Duke Ellington was-to use a favorite phrase of his own-"beyond category." He produced what has been called the "single most impressive body of composition in American jazz": more than two thousand compositions that ranged from such popular classics as "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady" to extended works such as Black, Brown and Beige, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1943. Ellington continually expanded his work as a composer and bandleader, composing for Broadway (Beggar's Opera) and Hollywood (including the film score for Anatomy of a Murder); undertaking extensive international tours; and working with younger jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. He received the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for his long-term achievement and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969.
Peter Hurd, 22 Feb 1904 - Jul 1984
Duke Ellington, 29 Apr 1899 - 24 May 1974
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Tempera on board
Board: 48.3 x 34.3cm (19 x 13 1/2")
Frame: 65.4 x 51.8 x 3.8cm (25 3/4 x 20 3/8 x 1 1/2")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Home Furnishings\Curtain
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Necktie
Duke Ellington: Male
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Duke Ellington: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Restrictions & Rights
© Peter Hurd