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Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk
Usage Conditions Apply
Boris Chaliapin, 1904 - 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")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© 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.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
On View
NPG, South Gallery 322 Mezzanine
Usage conditions apply