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Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection

Performer:
Basie, Count, 1904-  Search this
Webster, Ben  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1901-1971  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Fitzgerald, Ella, 1917-1996  Search this
Goodman, Benny (Benjamin David), 1909-1986  Search this
Jamal, Ahmad, 1930-  Search this
Robinson, Bill, 1878-1949  Search this
Davis, Miles  Search this
Collector:
Smith, Ernie  Search this
Names:
Apollo Theatre (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
30 Cubic feet (352 film reels , 16 mm)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Place:
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- 20th century
Date:
1894-1979
Summary:
More than 300 reels of 16mm black and white and color film, silent and sound, fiction and documentary motion picture film documenting jazz and related musical performances, social and popular dance styles and performances, jazz musicians, performance locales, and documentation of African-American popular culture. A list of featured performers in the collection is shown below. The films are frequently compilations produced by Smith for lectures.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of 352 reels of 16mm motion picture film. Most of the film is 16mm black and white and sound (composite optical track print), although a few titles are silent or in color. The collection is comprised of compilation reels created by Ernie Smith to accompany his lectures, topical compilation reels created by Ernie Smith, compilation reels created by the Archives Center, and single title reels. The Archives Center produced master and reference video copies using a wet-gate telecine film-to-tape transfer system. Titles were often combined to allow for increased ease of handling, storage, and duplication.

The collection is strongest in the areas of jazz dance styles including Lindy Hop and tap, overviews of jazz musical performers and styles; specific jazz musicians and performers including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Bob Crosby, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Jack Teagarden as well as a wide range of female vocalists; and documentation of the New York jazz and club scene. The collection includes feature films and excerpts from feature films, Soundies and other film shorts, television kinescopes, and documentary films.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series and is not arranged in accordance with standard archival procedures. The breadth of the collection and the existence of so many multiple topic and/or performer compilation reels made it impossible to impose traditional archival series order. Therefore, each reel is described at the item level in the container list.
Biographical / Historical:
Ernie Smith began collecting jazz-related film in 1955. He wrote the entry about jazz film in the "Grove Dictionary of Jazz," and worked with Marshall Stearns on the book "Jazz Dance."
Ernest (Ernie) Smith began collecting jazz and jazz dance films during the mid-1950s. An Art Director for a New York advertising agency, Smith had a long-standing interest in jazz and jazz dance that began during his youth in Pittsburgh, Pa. Early on, Smith discovered that jazz music was best appreciated while dancing. He became an accomplished Lindy Hopper, frequenting both white and African American ballrooms.

His job at the advertising agency supported Smith's two passions - painting and jazz dance and music. Smith was also a film enthusiast so, in 1954, after taking a jazz class at the New School taught by Marshall Stearns, a leading jazz scholar, he began collecting examples of jazz and jazz dance on film. In the process of creating his film collection, Smith became one of the leading authorities on jazz and jazz dance films. He collaborated with Stearns on the 1964 book Jazz Dance, compiling the book's jazz dance film listing. He also wrote the extensive entry on jazz film for the 1988 edition of New Grove Dictionary of Jazz .

Smith built his film collection by identifying films of potential interest and acquiring them through trade and purchase. He created lecture reels on specific topics -- the history of jazz, social dance, tap dance, Duke Ellington, Lindy Hop -- and presented lecture/screenings nationally and internationally. He also provided footage for numerous documentaries and maintained active relationships with filmmakers, other film collectors, jazz scholars, the swing dance community, and musicians.

Ernie Smith donated his film collection to the Archives Center in 1993. He continues to lecture and participate in swing dance activities, but he devotes the majority of his time to painting and related artistic pursuits.
Provenance:
The Archives Center acquired the collection from Ernie Smith in 1993.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the films are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Tap dancing -- 1930-1970  Search this
Motion pictures and music -- 1930-1970  Search this
Dancing in motion pictures, television, etc. -- 1930-1970  Search this
Television and music -- 1930-1970  Search this
Jazz -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Jazz musicians -- 1930-1970  Search this
Jazz dance -- 1930-1970  Search this
African Americans in the performing arts -- 1930-1970  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Citation:
Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0491
See more items in:
Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0491

The Journal of arts management and law

Title:
Arts
Author:
Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation  Search this
Physical description:
v. ; 23 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Place:
United States
Date:
1982
Cl982-1992
Topic:
Performing arts  Search this
Performing arts--Law and legislation  Search this
Call number:
PN2000.P47X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_385962

Untitled (Band and dancer in spotlight)

Artist:
William Gropper, born New York City 1897-died Manhasset, NY 1977  Search this
Medium:
color lithograph on paper
Dimensions:
sheet: 14 5/8 x 10 7/8 in. (37.1 x 27.7 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
n.d.
Topic:
Figure female  Search this
Performing arts\dance  Search this
Performing arts\music\band  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of David Schiffer
Copyright:
© 1953, William Gropper
Object number:
1992.113.1
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7db04bea2-2455-4803-9362-2fd57ed7c8b5
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1992.113.1

The Singing Seats in an Old-Time Country Church

Artist:
Unidentified  Search this
Medium:
wood engraving and photographs mounted on paper
Dimensions:
sheet: 9 x 13 3/8 in. (22.8 x 33.9 cm)
Type:
Collage
Date:
19th century
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Architecture\religious\church  Search this
Performing arts\music\voice  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by Mr. and Mrs. Fortunato Porotto
Object number:
1995.20.2
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk73b37d669-50f5-44aa-82c2-87034695b59c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1995.20.2

The Sonata

Artist:
Henry Wolf, born Eckwersheim, Alsace 1852-died New York City 1916  Search this
Copy after:
Irving R. Wiles, born Utica, NY 1861-died Peconic, NY 1948  Search this
Publisher:
Century Magazine  Search this
Medium:
photomechanical wood engraving on paper
Dimensions:
image: 7 7/8 x 5 in. (20.1 x 12.6 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Mechanical Reproduction
Date:
1897
Topic:
Figure group\female  Search this
Performing arts\music\piano  Search this
Performing arts\music\viola  Search this
Object\written matter\sheet music  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Lester Neuman
Object number:
1964.10.1
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk79ef3e4ea-647d-4c41-926b-90f92b5fa354
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1964.10.1

Joseph Jefferson as "Dr. Pangloss"

Artist:
Henry Wolf, born Eckwersheim, Alsace 1852-died New York City 1916  Search this
Copy after:
John Singer Sargent, born Florence, Italy 1856-died London, England 1925  Search this
Publisher:
Century Magazine  Search this
Sitter:
Joseph Jefferson  Search this
Medium:
wood engraving on paper
Dimensions:
image: 6 5/8 x 5 1/4 in. (16.7 x 13.3 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
1896
Topic:
Figure male\elderly  Search this
Performing arts\theater\performer  Search this
Dress\accessory\eye wear  Search this
Portrait male  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
1973.130.122
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7d093b60a-a71d-44ad-a9f6-c1a8031ac84f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1973.130.122

Saint Cecilia

Artist:
Henry Wolf, born Eckwersheim, Alsace 1852-died New York City 1916  Search this
Copy after:
Adolphe La Lyre, born Rouvres, France 1848/50-died 1935  Search this
Publisher:
American Book Co.  Search this
Medium:
wood engraving on paper
Dimensions:
image: 3 5/8 x 4 7/8 in. (9.3 x 12.5 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
1897
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Performing arts\music\organ  Search this
Animal\bird\dove  Search this
Object\flower\lily  Search this
Object\musical instrument\organ  Search this
Religion\saint\St. Cecilia  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
1973.130.146
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7fe7f4618-e4ed-46f6-a69f-3485ffb29fb5
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1973.130.146

Saint Cecilia

Artist:
Henry Wolf, born Eckwersheim, Alsace 1852-died New York City 1916  Search this
Copy after:
Adolphe La Lyre, born Rouvres, France 1848/50-died 1935  Search this
Publisher:
American Book Co.  Search this
Medium:
wood engraving on paper
Dimensions:
image: 3 3/4 x 4 7/8 in. (9.4 x 12.5 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
1897
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Performing arts\music\organ  Search this
Animal\bird\dove  Search this
Object\flower\lily  Search this
Object\musical instrument\organ  Search this
Religion\saint\St. Cecilia  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
1973.130.147
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7d3204d27-8383-4e78-8505-3e3ea09f26a4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1973.130.147

Spring

Artist:
Henry Wolf, born Eckwersheim, Alsace 1852-died New York City 1916  Search this
Copy after:
Will H. Low, born Albany, NY 1853-died New York City 1932  Search this
Publisher:
Century Magazine  Search this
Medium:
wood engraving on paper
Dimensions:
image: 3 x 5 1/4 in. (7.7 x 13.3 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
1891
Topic:
Figure male  Search this
Dress\historic\classical dress  Search this
Landscape\water  Search this
Allegory\season\spring  Search this
Performing arts\music\lyre  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
1973.130.63
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk79ca55a35-3b3d-4a40-9a7f-53381915d18e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1973.130.63

Summer

Artist:
Henry Wolf, born Eckwersheim, Alsace 1852-died New York City 1916  Search this
Copy after:
Will H. Low, born Albany, NY 1853-died New York City 1932  Search this
Publisher:
Century Magazine  Search this
Medium:
wood engraving on paper
Dimensions:
image: 3 x 5 1/4 in. (7.7 x 13.3 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
1891
Topic:
Figure group\female  Search this
Dress\historic\classical dress  Search this
Architecture\boat\sailboat  Search this
Allegory\season\summer  Search this
Performing arts\music\flute  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
1973.130.64
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7b72a90e4-df24-4341-b076-79eaa03d2f7f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1973.130.64

Rustic Dance

Artist:
Unidentified (French)  Search this
Copy after:
Jean-Antoine Watteau, French, born Valenciennes, France 1684-died Nogent-sur-Marne, France 1721  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
33 x 43 in. (83.8 x 109.2 cm.)
Type:
Painting
Date:
18th-19th century
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Monument\statue  Search this
Recreation\courting  Search this
Landscape\garden  Search this
History\France  Search this
Ceremony\dance  Search this
Performing arts\music\flute  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Cassie Mason Myers Julian-James
Object number:
1923.11.2
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7ce8c3100-33d1-4ada-94b2-4560ca17ca93
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1923.11.2

Sweet Adeline

Artist:
Nathaniel P. Steinberg, born Jerusalem, Palestine (now Israel) 1893-died Saugatuck, MI 1976  Search this
Medium:
drypoint
Dimensions:
8 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. (21.3 x 26.4 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
n.d.
Topic:
Figure group\male  Search this
Animal\dog  Search this
Performing arts\music\voice  Search this
Performing arts\music\harmonica  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chicago Society of Etchers
Object number:
1935.13.676
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7a8950cb6-b71d-41fa-873a-98c43bdb6b07
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1935.13.676

Give

Artist:
Joseph Vavak, born Vienna, Austria-Hungary 1891-died United States 1969  Search this
Medium:
lithograph
Dimensions:
8 3/8 x 12 7/8 in. (21.3 x 32.7 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
n.d.
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Performing arts\music\violin  Search this
Allegory\quality\charity  Search this
State of being\other\poverty  Search this
Dress\accessory\cane  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from D.C. Public Library
Object number:
1967.72.269
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7203a7044-f0e2-4e7c-8858-ad0c3f8fe1f7
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1967.72.269

The Pied Piper

Artist:
Albert Webb, born New York City 1891  Search this
Medium:
lithograph
Dimensions:
10 x 14 1/2 in. (25.4 x 36.8 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
n.d.
Topic:
Occupation\military  Search this
Allegory\death  Search this
Performing arts\music\flute  Search this
Landscape\cemetery  Search this
Figure\fragment\skeleton  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from D.C. Public Library
Object number:
1967.72.286
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7a9c3cee7-3cb4-4a5c-a203-754f5c858c34
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1967.72.286

Bolivian Indian Playing the Quena

Artist:
Unidentified (South American?)  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
24 1/8 x 17 1/4 in. (61.3 x 43.8 cm.)
Type:
Painting
Date:
ca. 1890-1892
Topic:
Figure male  Search this
Ethnic\Indian  Search this
Ethnic\South American  Search this
Performing arts\music\quena  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase
Object number:
1985.66.164,632
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7f9dc352e-2afb-4011-974c-edabc8f48a50
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1985.66.164_632

Harper

Artist:
Unidentified (South American?)  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm.)
Type:
Painting
Date:
ca. 1890-1892
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Architecture\domestic  Search this
Ethnic\Indian  Search this
Performing arts\music\harp  Search this
Ethnic\South American  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase
Object number:
1985.66.164,672
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7d44afc47-5411-47dc-9f15-d66713774189
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1985.66.164_672

Bandstand

Artist:
Unidentified  Search this
Medium:
carved, turned, and painted wood with metal and glass beads
Dimensions:
17 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (44.5 x 26.7 cm.) diam.
Type:
Sculpture
Folk Art
Date:
ca. 1890
Topic:
Figure group\male  Search this
Performing arts\music\band  Search this
Architecture\other\gazebo  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson
Object number:
1986.65.275A-B
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk75393282c-5155-48b1-80b9-73312e237981
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1986.65.275A-B

Choir Boy

Artist:
Belle Silveira, born Erie, PA 1877-died New York City 1930  Search this
Medium:
pencil
Dimensions:
sight 11 3/8 x 5 5/8 in. (28.9 x 14.3 cm)
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1899
Topic:
Performing arts\music\voice  Search this
Figure male\child\full length  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Elwood Williams
Object number:
1968.88.2
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk74c1524c7-fcb9-425c-8e07-59ef2ab677da
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1968.88.2

Violet Sargent

Artist:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, born Dublin, Ireland 1848-died Cornish, NH 1907  Search this
Founder:
Jaboeuf et Bezout Fondeurs, founded Paris, France 1888-closed 1899  Search this
Sitter:
Viola Sargent  Search this
Medium:
bronze relief
Dimensions:
50 x 34 in. (126.9 x 86.4 cm.)
Type:
Sculpture-Relief
Date:
1890
Topic:
Performing arts\music\guitar  Search this
Portrait female  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Rose Pitman Hughes
Object number:
1970.39
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
On View:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, East Wing
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7249faa39-5aec-4478-aa57-3d7ec883eae8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1970.39

Susie Q

Artist:
Blanche McVeigh, born St. Charles, MO 1895-died Fort Worth, TX 1970  Search this
Medium:
aquatint
Dimensions:
8 1/2 x 6 in. (21.6 x 15.2 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
n.d.
Topic:
Ethnic\African-American  Search this
Performing arts\music\piano  Search this
Figure female\full length  Search this
Object\written matter\sheet music  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chicago Society of Etchers
Object number:
1941.6.22
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk72a5c19ce-3b16-43ea-a940-ed01bc07bba5
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1941.6.22

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