Photojournalist and Elvis fan favorite Alfred Wertheimer introduces “Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer,” a new Smithsonian traveling exhibition, with 56 of his striking images to debut at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Jan. 8, 2010, Elvis’s 75th birthday. “Elvis at 21” is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalog, titled “Elvis 1956," which can be previewed at the publishers website.
From the publishers website:
In 1956, a twenty-one-year-old Elvis Presley was at the beginning of his remarkable and unparalleled career. Photojournalist Alfred Wertheimer was asked by Presley's new label, RCA Victor, to photograph the rising star for a one-day assignment that quickly developed into an odyssey. With unimpeded access to the young performer, Wertheimer was able to capture the unguarded and everyday moments in Elvis' life during March and July of that year, the pivotal year that made Elvis' career—taking him from virtual obscurity to the verge of international stardom and his crowning as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll."
Wertheimer's unobtrusive photographs of Elvis in performance, with his fans, in the recording studio, and at home with his family present a unique look at one of the world's most famous cultural figures. These images represent the first and the last unguarded look at Elvis, and are an extraordinary portrait of a charismatic young man who would go on to become a legend.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Elvis at 21, developed collaboratively by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and Govinda Gallery, and sponsored nationally by The History Channel. The national tour of Elvis at 21 launches at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on January 8, 2010 and will travel through 2012.