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Don Hunstein

Don Hunstein has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He shot hundreds of record covers and documented the recording sessions of many of the 20th Century’s most important musicians. He is a great photographer, equally skilled in large or small format, in black & white or colour. Rockarchive is honored to have him as a member of our collective.

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO and attended Washington University, graduating in 1950 with a degree in English. After college he enlisted in the US Air Force and was stationed in Fairford, England, and assigned a desk job. His parents had given him a modest camera so he could send pictures of London and the Cotswold village’s home to the family. But when that camera was stolen from the barracks he bought a Leica M3 in the PX, from a shop for GI’s on the base.

Having the M3 in his hands inspired him to get serious about taking pictures and while on a 3-day pass to Paris, he saw in a shop a book of black and white candid “street” photographs by Cartier-Bresson, which added to that inspiration.

In May of 1954 Don returned to the States, first to St. Louis and then to NYC to join a friend who had a job in advertising there. Don’s portfolio of pictures taken in London failed to impress the local photographers. However, he was offered an apprenticeship in a commercial studio, where Don learned to master large format cameras and the use of lighting. A known photographer, who had a studio within the Carnegie Hall building, hired Don as an assistant. Don helped him run his studio and went on location with him. One shoot in particular sticks in Don’s mind: shooting the dress rehearsal for a Broadway musical. It was to be in music photography that Don was to find his niche.

Within a few years Don was ready, at least technically, to have his own career as a photographer. A woman called Deborah Ishlon, who ran the publicity department for Columbia Records, became his mentor. The record business was expanding rapidly at the time and with only two assistants, Ishlon needed someone to help her run the picture library and supply prints to the press. She offered the job to Don. Little by little Don also became the main photographer for the company. As he became comfortable facing the famous names in the music world, putting both them and the new comers at ease in his presence, he developed the ability to see into the character of his subjects and reflect what he saw in the photos he took.  In a distinguished career that spans more than thirty years, Don took pictures of musicians – classical, Jazz, folk and then rock - in concert, at recording sessions, on the road, and in the studio, where he produced portraits for the PR department.

 

Bob Dylan (BD001DONH)

Bob Dylan

A very early set of images taken by Don for promotion of Bob Dylan's first album, titled 'Bob Dylan', released on March 19, 1962.

Prices from £2,500.00
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Bob Dylan (BD004DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan during his recording sessions for 'Highway 61 Revisited' at Columbia Studios in June 1965

Prices from £450.00
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Bob Dylan (BD006DONH)

Bob Dylan

At Columbia Studios, New York 1963 Bob Dylan tunes his guitar during a recording session for his second studio album 'Free Wheelin'

Prices from £250.00
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Bob Dylan (BD007DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan recording his 'Highway 61 Revisited' album at Columbia Studios, New York in June 1965

Prices from £450.00
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Bob Dylan (BD010DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo on the photo shoot for the album cover of 'Freewheelin' in a wintry New York City in February 1963

Prices from £150.00
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Bob Dylan (BD002DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan shot while recording his 5th studio album in Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City 1965.

Prices from £450.00
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Bob Dylan (BD003DONH)

Bob Dylan

An alternative version to the cover of the Bob Dylan Free Wheelin' album, which was similar, but also in colour.

Prices from £2,100.00
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Bob Dylan (BD005DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan recording the Freewheelin' album in Columbia Recording Studios, New York City in 1963.

Prices from £450.00
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Bob Dylan (BD008DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan rehearsing to an empty house on the Carnegie Hall stage in New York city, 1963.

Prices from £450.00
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Bob Dylan (BD009DONH)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan sitting with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo in their apartment in New York in February 1963

Prices from £1,110.00
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John Coltrane (JCOL001DONH)

John Coltrane

John Coltrane with Miles Davis at a recording session for 'Kind of Blue' in the spring of 1959 in New York City

Prices from £450.00
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Johnny Cash (CASH002DONH)

Johnny Cash

Photographer Don Hunstein shot this rural side of Johnny Cash relaxing on his farm in San Antonio, Texas in 1959.

Prices from £250.00
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Johnny Cash (CASH003DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash during a recording session at the Columbia Records 30th Street Studios in New York City in October 1959.

Prices from £450.00
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Johnny Cash (CASH004DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash in New York with his wife June Carter while recording together at Columbia Recording Studio in New York City 1975.

Prices from £150.00
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Johnny Cash (CASH005DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at home on his farm in San Antonio, Texas in 1959. He always had a fondness for San Antonio.

Prices from £450.00
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Johnny Cash (CASH006DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at home on his ranch in San Antonio, Texas in 1960, he always wore black, because he identified with the poor & the down trodden

Prices from £450.00
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Miles Davis (MD001DONH)

Miles Davis

Miles Davis with John Coltrane during the recording sessions for 'Kind of Blue' at Columbia Studios in New York in the Spring of 1959

Prices from £450.00
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Miles Davis (MD002DONH)

Miles Davis

Miles Davis during the recording sessions for 'Kind of Blue' taken in New York in the Spring of 1959

Prices from £450.00
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Featured Prints

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Great Prints for £250 or less

Check out our great range of authentic fine art photographic prints available for £250 or less.

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Pink Floyd

Syd Barrett captured in a candid moment at Abbey Road Studios whilst rehearsing for the recording of 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'

Prices from £350.00
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Pink Floyd

Candid image of Roger Waters at Abbey Road Studios whilst Pink Floyd finished off recording their debut album

Prices from £350.00
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Pink Floyd

Syd Barrett captured on one of Pink Floyd's earliest photoshoots in June 1967

Prices from £350.00
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The Beatles

Photo shoot of the fab four taken at Sheriff Road, London in 1965

Prices from £750.00
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Pink Floyd

1967 Syd Barrett performs during an early photo session prior to the release of Pink Floyd's debut album

Prices from £350.00
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Featured Artists

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd are currently getting set for the 'Their Mortal Remains' exhibition at the V&A - Check out our range of images for sale.

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Guns N' Roses

Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band formed in 1985. Their music is a fusion of punk rock, blues rock, heavy metal & hard rock.

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Oasis

Oasis were an English rock music band formed in Manchester in 1991, to date the band have sold over 70 million records worldwide.

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Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, songwriter & arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.

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Blondie

Blondie, an American rock band founded by Debbie Harry & Chris Stein was a pioneer in the American new wave & punk scenes of the 1970s.

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The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960 and widely regarded as the most influential acts of the rock era.

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Featured Collections

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Album Covers

Album covers can define a band almost as much as the music itself. Now you can put this great art on your wall as well as your turntable

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Don Hunstein: In Focus

Celebrating the work of the late Don Hunstein who documented many of the 20th Century’s most important musicians.

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Darkroom Prints

All our traditonal darkroom prints are hand printed from the original negative by a master printer to give them a crafted and unique feel

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Photographers Limited Edtions

These are a selected prints assigned into limited edition runs. Once all the prints have been sold they will no longer be available.

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David Bowie Remembered

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Storm Thorgerson AV40

Storm Thorgerson AV40 or 'Alternate Versions 40' comprises of a series of images that are alternate versions of original album art.

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