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Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk
Usage Conditions Apply
Boris Chaliapin, 22 Sep 1904 - 18 May 1979
Thelonious Sphere Monk, 10 Oct 1917 - 17 Feb 1982
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 53.3 x 38.1 x 2.5cm (21 x 15 x 1")
Frame: 65.4 x 49.8 x 6cm (25 3/4 x 19 5/8 x 2 3/8")
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Beard
Costume\Dress Accessory\Feather
Costume\Dress Accessory\Neckwear\Tie\Necktie
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Male
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz musician
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Chris Murphy
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Rocky Mount, North Carolina
A leader of the postwar jazz revolution, Thelonious Monk—along with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker—sparked the “bebop” movement, a jazz style faster and more frenetic than the swing that had held sway since the thirties. Monk’s piano style has been called eccentric: “his melodies were angular, his harmonies full of jarring clusters.” His recording career took off in the mid-1950s, and he won an enthusiastic following, often playing with such other avant-garde musicians as John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. His compositions “Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” and “Epistrophy” are considered classics of modern jazz.
Collection Description
In 1978, Time magazine donated approximately eight hundred works of original cover art to the National Portrait Gallery. The museum is dedicated to telling the stories of individuals who have shaped the United States, and the Time Collection—featuring prominent international figures and events—enriches our understanding of the United States in a global context.
En 1978, la revista Time donó a la National Portrait Gallery cerca de 800 obras de arte originales creadas para sus portadas. Nuestro museo se dedica a narrar la historia de figuras que han contribuido a forjar el desarrollo de Estados Unidos, y es así que la Colección Time, que incluye retratos de importantes personalidades internacionales, nos ayuda a comprender mejor a nuestra nación en un contexto global.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
On View
NPG, South Gallery 322 Mezzanine