Portraits of an American Sound
May 31, 2014 - Sep 28, 2014

The Annenberg Space for Photography’s exhibit Country: Portraits of an American Sound presented images of the pioneers, poets and icons of country music.

Country: Portraits of an American Sound used historical and contemporary photographs to explore how images shape the public identity of country music performers and of the genre itself. Celebrated performers such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and Hank Williams – as well as deejays, fans, executives and musicians – were seen in the works of photographers who documented multiple generations of this popular history.

The work of the exhibit’s featured photographers spanned from post-World War II America into the new century – a variety of documentary, studio, promotional and fine art images. Guests visiting the Annenberg Space for Photography were able to experience the power of photography portraying American ideals that country music embodies.

The exhibit features an original half-hour documentary commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography and produced by Arclight Productions. The film explores the image of country music and its evolution over 80 years, highlighting photography’s role in documenting the history and capturing the culture of this uniquely American sound. The film features photographers Henry Diltz, Henry Horenstein, Les Leverett, David McClister, Raeanne Rubenstein, Leigh Wiener and Michael Wilson.

In addition to the exhibit, The Annenberg Space for Photography also partnered with acclaimed Los Angeles public radio station KCRW to create a free live music series, Country in the City, which featured performances by Wynonna & The Big Noise, Shelby Lynne and Gregg Allman. The series was free and open to the public.

Bringing your family? Download our Family Activity guide here or ask for one at the front desk.

Guest curators for this exhibit were Shannon Perich of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and Tim Davis and Michael McCall of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum.


Stories Behind the Photographs

Iris Nights Presenters

Slideshow Night Photographers

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