Smithsonian Collections

Jimi Hendrix

Image for Jimi Hendrix
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
In the late 1960s Jimi Hendrix carried the blues into the twenty-first century by turning the electric guitar into an instrument of vast capabilities and poetic expression. Through a brilliant manipulation of feedback and amplification, Hendrix created soundscapes of deep texture and distortion, of electronic waves and wah-wah. Often dressed in a rainbow riot of color, he wrote songs about other planets and experiences that fit the era’s hallucinogenic experiences and its mythology of alternate dimensions. On stage he was simultaneously self-possessed and otherworldly, playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back, even setting it on fire. Born of mixed white, black, and Cherokee ancestry, Hendrix was influenced by Elvis, Little Richard, and Muddy Waters; honed his blues chops on the "chitlin’ circuit"; and recorded with the Isley Brothers and King Curtis. His searing instrumental version of the national anthem is a rare example of nonverbal social protest and remains the iconic sound of Woodstock.
Linda McCartney, 1941 - 1998
Jimi Hendrix, 27 Nov 1942 - 18 Sep 1970
1967 (printed later)
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the photographer, Linda McCartney
Platinum print
Image: 51.3 x 35.3 cm (20 3/16 x 13 7/8")
Sheet: 73.7 x 55.1 cm (29 x 21 11/16")
Mat: 81.3 x 66 cm (32 x 26")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Costume\Dress Accessory\Scarf
Personal Attribute\Hairstyle\Afro
Jimi Hendrix: Male
Jimi Hendrix: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
Jimi Hendrix: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Guitarist
Jimi Hendrix: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Rock
Jimi Hendrix, New York, 1967
Restrictions & Rights
© 1967 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney. All rights reserved.