Program on photographer Art Kane July 21

The life and work of Art Kane, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, will be discussed in a program hosted by the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM) Saturday, July 21 at 7 p.m. at the HSM hall, 778 Cemetery Road, Margaretville.
“Marking Time” is an illustrated talk by Art’s son, musician and photographer Jonathan Kane, who spent a fair portion of his youth at the Margaretville house which was owned by his famous father for almost 30 years, from 1963 to 1991, a period when he was creating some his most visionary work in fashion, editorial and travel photography, celebrity portraiture and nudes.
Art Kane (1925 – 1995) graduated from Cooper Union with honors in 1950 and was soon designing page layouts at Esquire. As the 27-year-old art director at Seventeen, he was the youngest art director of a major magazine in New York City.
In 1956 he studied with Alexey Brodovitch at The New School, where other students included Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Diane Arbus. A disciple of Brodovitch, Kane nonetheless forged a path of his own, pioneering numerous concepts in modern photography. Decades before Photoshop and digital imaging, Kane invented the ‘sandwich image’, layering multiple transparencies together to invest his images with metaphor and poetry, effectively turning photography into illustration.
In 1958, Kane assembled the greatest legends in jazz and shot what became one of his most famous images, Harlem 1958. In the 1960s and 1970s, he photographed, among others, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Janis Joplin, the Doors, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan.

While the battle for civil rights and the Vietnam War raged, Kane was refining a conscientious response to the period with his editorial work, accessible and populist in its ability to communicate to a large audience.

Kane also contributed to the major fashion magazines of his era and created startling ad campaigns for the fashion and beauty industry.

In his lifetime Kane was honored by almost every photo-design organization in the United States, including the American Society of Magazine Photographers which named him Photographer of the Year.

Jonathan Kane began his career as the 15-year-old co-leader of Kane Bros. Blues Band, touring the northeast with fake id opening for blues legends Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Willie Dixon and others. After studying at Berklee College of Music, he joined the New York City downtown music scene. He co-founded Swans with Michael Gira, and has toured and recorded with La Monte Young’s Forever Bad Bad Blues Band, Rhys Chatham’s 100 Electric Guitar Orchestra, Dave Soldier, and as leader of his own maximalist blues drone band, Jonathan Kane’s February.
He is also a photographer and photo editor, who, with his late wife Holly Anderson, curated the lavish “Art Kane,” a book that features dozens of his father’s most striking images and offers a glimpse into the remarkable career of this mold-breaking artist. The book will be available for purchase at the July 21 program.
To find a schedule of HSM’s 2018 events and programs, and many articles and photos pertaining to Middletown’s history, visit, where you can also become a member and make an online donation towards the preservation of local history.