Rose Mary Gorman: (615) 744-3332, ”
Ellen Jones Pryor: (615) 243-1311, ”, ”

Frist Center Inaugural Venue for Jim McGuire: The Nashville Portraits

Sixty portraits feature best of country music
performers by legendary photographer

NASHVILLE, TENN.—(April 23, 2007)—The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will open Jim McGuire: The Nashville Portraits Friday, May 11, 2007. This dynamic exhibition pays homage to Nashville’s country music heritage through 60 black and white photographs of such legendary musicians as Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Bill Monroe and Dolly Parton taken by celebrated local photographer Jim McGuire. The exhibition continues through Sept. 9, 2007. Appropriately, the Frist Center is the inaugural venue for this nationally traveling exhibition. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau has developed a national contest that will bring winners to Nashville to have their own portrait sitting with Jim McGuire.

A native of New Jersey, McGuire moved to Nashville in 1972 to pursue his passionate interest in music and the people who made it. Since then, McGuire has become the preeminent photographer in his field, as renowned for his love of music and musicians, wry wit, and 1947 Ford station wagon as he is for his skill with a camera. As the photographer of choice for many major record labels and their recording artists for more than 30 years, McGuire has shot hundreds of album and CD cover portraits, thereby helping to define the public’s perception of performers as disparate as Carole King and Doc Watson, Townes Van Zandt and Reba McEntire, Tracy Nelson and Dolly Parton. Once the official business is finished, though, McGuire often asks the musicians to pose for his personal project—the Nashville Portraits series, which captures each individual against a neutral backdrop with only his or her instrument as an accessory.

Inspired by photographer Irving Penn’s portraits of tradesmen in their work clothes, McGuire began this series in 1972 with a photograph of singer/songwriter John Hartford. The series now includes more than 1,000 images of America’s most influential singers, songwriters and musicians.

“Jim McGuire has been an important part of Nashville’s music scene for so many years. Not only have his instantly recognizable images helped to shape the careers of countless musicians, but they have also provided an intimate look into the characters of these beloved performers,” says Katie Delmez, associate curator at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. “One of the greatest pleasures of being in Nashville is to have the opportunity to feature our own talent. This is certainly one of those times.”

“Music has always been a huge part of my life and a faithful muse for my photography,” says Jim McGuire in his artist’s statement. “When I look at this work as a whole, I could never have planned these last 30 years or these portraits…they just happened.”

Highlights of Jim McGuire: The Nashville Portraits include:

• John Hartford (1972)
• Dolly Parton (1974)
• Doc Watson (1975)
• Steve Earle (1975 and 1995)
• Kris Kristofferson (1977)
• Johnny Cash (1978)
• Emmylou Harris (1983 and 1984)
• Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell (1983)
• Waylon Jennings (1985)
• Tammy Wynette (1987)
• Bill Monroe (1989)
• Townes Van Zandt (1990)
• Ralph Stanley (1998)
• Mark O’Connor (2005)

Jim McGuire’s career in photography began during a four-year stint in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1965. While serving in Vietnam, McGuire was given the task of taking aerial photographs of the countryside. After being discharged from the Air Force, McGuire enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography to further hone his skills. He briefly worked as an assistant to a fashion photographer. By 1969, McGuire had opened his own photography studio in New York City, shooting magazine assignments and advertisements. It was there that McGuire shot his first album cover, Sea Train’s Marblehead Messenger. After a chance meeting in New York with Nashville producer and manager Travis Rivers, McGuire moved to Nashville to embark on his now-legendary career. In addition to The Nashville Portraits, another important personal project of McGuire’s was his 1974 series of the Ryman Auditorium during the last days of the Grand Ole Opry’s tenure there prior to relocating. During this time, he captured his famous End of an Era photograph, featuring the iconic Ryman with a bolt of lightning in the background.

Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau promotion

To promote the McGuire exhibition, the Frist Center will join forces with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau for the “Picture Yourself in Nashville” contest for one lucky winner to have his or her own portrait made by Jim McGuire. The winner and a guest will be flown to Nashville for four days and three nights. While in Music City, the winner and guest will also enjoy a Frist Friday concert featuring Lee Roy Parnell as well as a chance to meet Parnell. In addition, they will receive tickets to the two-day Nashville Jazz and Blues Festival, hosted by world-renowned saxophonist Kirk Whalum. And the winners will have an opportunity to enjoy all of the sights and sounds of Nashville with their complimentary Music City Star Cards. Lodging for the contest winner and guest will be provided by the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

Organizer and Sponsor

Jim McGuire: The Nashville Portraits is organized by the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA; Tour Development by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, MO.

The 2007 Presenting Sponsor of the Conte Community Arts Gallery is Allstate.

Also on view at the Frist Center
Brushed with Light: Masters of American Watercolor from the Brooklyn Museum
May 4–July 22, 2007
• Brushed with Light: Masters of American Watercolor from the Brooklyn Museum has been organized by the Brooklyn Museum.

Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art
Continues through June 3, 2007
• This exhibition is organized and circulated by The Baltimore Museum of Art.

• The 2007 Platinum Sponsor is the HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals. The 2007 Gold Sponsor is First Tennessee.

Hiraki Sawa: Going Places Sitting Down
Continues through June 3, 2007
• The 2007 Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery Exhibition Sponsor is Welling LaGrone and Morgan Keegan.

About the Frist Center

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features over 30 interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and under and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and military, and $6.50 for college students with ID. Thursday evenings, 5:00–9:00 p.m., admission is free for college students with a valid college ID. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3246. The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays
through Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at

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