Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers and Patsy Cline are just a few of the faces appearing in the Huntington Museum of Art Oct. 22. Gordon Gillingham, a photographer employed by the Grand Ole Opry, took photographs of these three stars and other country music legends from the 1950s. Sixty of his pictures will be on display at the museum in an exhibition titled "Grand Ole Opry."
John Gillispie, public relations director at the Huntington Museum of Art, said because Gillingham worked with the singers, his photos show the performers on a personal level. "That's what makes these photos different," Gillispie said. "You are seeing the celebrities in a more relaxed environment."
Gordon Gillingham had a great appreciation for his subjects and a wonderful rapport with the performers. These images wonderfully capture the spirit, energy, camaraderie and sheer joy of performing that permeated both musicians and fans of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1950s, according to a press release about the show.
"Grand Ole Opry" is part of a traveling show. Museums are sent offers and a committee at the museum decides on an exhibition from these choices. "One interesting thing is to see who was part of the Grand Ole Opry. Not many people know Elvis was a part of the Opry," Chris Hatten, a member of the committee, said of the photos.
Gillispie said the committee selected this exhibition was because of the popularity of the Linda McCartney show in 2000. "The Linda McCartney show had rock and roll pictures," he said. "This is the country music equivalent." Another reason the museum chose the pictures was because of the popularity of musicians such as Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline.
More information about the Huntington Museum of Art is available at 529-2701.
Source: Google / Updated: Oct 21, 2005