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Alfred Wertheimer (1929-2014)

In 1956, freelance photographer Alfred Wertheimer was assigned to photograph a 21-year-old singer who RCA was promoting. It was Elvis Presley, a name the 26-year-old Wertheimer did not recognize when he trekked down to New York City's Studio 50 (later to be named the Ed Sullivan Theater) to photograph Presley's appearance on Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show.

At the time, Elvis had already recorded "Heartbreak Hotel" and was beginning to gain some notoriety, but he was nowhere close to becoming a cultural icon. He could still walk the streets unrecognized, and, because of this, Alfred Wertheimer got the opportunity to shoot reams of film of Elvis both on stage and off in the last remaining months before Elvis' life would change forever.

Among his most famous shots was The Kiss, a photo of Elvis nuzzling a woman fan backstage. There were also photographs of him recording “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel”, reading fan mail, eating alone, staring out of a train window, playing a piano in an empty studio and walking by himself on a deserted New York street – these latter depicting a solitude that was later surrendered to fame and mobs of fans.

Wertheimer had humble beginnings. His family fled Hitler’s Germany when he was  six and settled in Brooklyn, where his father was a butcher. As a boy he received his first camera from his brother and became fascinated with photography.

 

Elvis Presley (ELPR001ALWE)

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley taking a nap in July 1956 on the Southern Railroad between Chattanooga, heading towards Memphis, Tennessee, his home.

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Elvis Presley (ELPR002ALWE)

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley combing his hair in the men's room in the Mosque Theatre, Richmond, Virginia in June 1956

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The Pyramid Stage and Glastonbury Tor captured beautifully by Jill Furmanovsky at the 2000 Glastonbury Festival

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Kate Bush captured in 1993 during the filming for short film 'The Line, The Cross & The Curve'.

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Beatles, The (TB005WHIT)

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Iconic photo of John Lennon with a flower in his eye, fondly known as 'Adoration'.

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Freddie Mercury in the spotlight whilst playing the grand piano in Southampton in May, 1977.

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The Cure, 1980 by Jill Furmanovsky

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The Cure on the road in Holland and Belgium during their 1980 'Seventeen Seconds' tour.

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Led Zeppelin (LZ001BW)

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Jimmy Page playing his legendary bowed guitar solo during 'Dazed & Confused' whilst onstage with Led Zeppelin in Belfast in March 1971

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Featured Collections

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***New Arrivals***

Here are the very latest prints we have added to our collection. We hope you love them as much as we do.

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Alternative artwork by Storm Thorgerson for Pink Floyd's Division Bell

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Michael Putland Collection

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Jill Furmanovsky Collection

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Contact Sheets Collection

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