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A Celebrity Photographer's Legacy

Friday 25 May 2012 @ 17:07 - GMT

Jack Robinson was a prominent American photographer throughout the 1950s and 1960s when his career was cut short by a drinking problem and he faded into obscurityuntil a former boss visited his apartment and discovered a veritable treasure trove of iconic images. These included shots of Elton, the Who, Joni Mitchell and Jack Nicholson.

 

Robinson, who was born in Mississippi, began his career by creating vibrant portraits of nightlife in the French Quarter.

After a brief stint shooting street scenes in Mexico in 1954, Jack moved to the Big Apple, where he gained notoriety for his fashion photography. He was soon in demand by many of the top fashion designers, and began freelancing for New York Times magazine and Life. In 1965 he was hired by Vogue.

Sadly, by 1972, Robinsons growing drinking problem put an end to his photography career and he retreated to Memphis where he joined Alcoholics Anonymous, quit drinking, and began a quiet, private life working for a stained glass studio. He was 69 when he passed away in 1997.

 

Several months ago, The Jack Robinson On Show book was released. Dan Oppenheimer, the man who found the aforementioned photographs (and now manages the Jack Robinson Archive), told EJW that the Rocket Man ''has 3 photographs over 4 pages.''

 

He adds:

 

''It is a very prominent inclusion in the book. These photographs were taken when he first came to the US and were taken for Vogue magazine.''