Photographer Raeanne Rubenstein’s Work On Display In New CMHOF Exhibit
The work of celebrity photographer Raeanne Rubenstein is on display in a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the Community Corridor on the first floor.
“Raeanne Rubenstein: Shooting Stars,” features an array of photographs of celebrities and musical luminaries taken between 1969-1979, including many iconic images of country artists. The exhibit is free and open to the public through May 2023.
Born in 1945 in Staten Island, New York, Rubenstein got her start in the East Village underground scene and became a favored photographer for Life, People, Rolling Stone, Time and other publications. A 1970 assignment to photograph Johnny Cash at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium led Rubenstein to embrace country music, and she played a significant role in many Nashville stars gaining their first feature articles in leading national publications. After thirty years as a New York-based celebrity photographer, she made Nashville her full-time residence in 1998. That year, she founded Dish, an online entertainment and style magazine based in Music City.
Over the course of more than 50 years, Rubenstein photographed a diverse array of cultural figures, including Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry, Jimi Hendrix, Dustin Hoffman, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Kiss, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Yoko Ono, the Who, Andy Warhol, Robin Williams and Country Music Hall of Fame members Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others.
The museum’s adjacent Haley Gallery, which is also free to access, will feature an additional selection of Rubenstein’s images beginning Friday, March 10.
Rubenstein published 10 photography books, including Honky Tonk Heroes: A Photo Album of Country Music (1975) and Gone Country: Portraits of Country Music’s New Stars (1997). Her photos have appeared in many other books and have been exhibited in Dublin, London, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York.
Community Corridor Exhibit Photos:
- B.B. King at the Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, Rhode Island, 1969).
- Country Music Hall of Fame member Loretta Lynn and husband, Mooney, on their farm (Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, 1975).
- Barbara Mandrell, preparing to appear on the TV program Hee Haw (1975).
- Willie Nelson, backstage at the 2nd annual Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic at Texas World Speedway (College Station, Texas, 1974).
- Gram Parsons and Nudie Cohn, posing on a worktable at Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors (North Hollywood, California, 1969).
- Parton, in her tour bus (Nashville, Tennessee, 1979). Rubenstein photographed several recording artists with their tour buses for a photo essay in Life magazine.
- Country Music Hall of Fame member Charley Pride (Nashville, Tennessee, 1975).
- Little Richard (1971).
- Tanya Tucker, on her 16th birthday (Little Rock, Arkansas, 1974).
- Country Music Hall of Fame member Dottie West, with her dog Tiger, at her home (Nashville, Tennessee, 1975).
Other items on display in the Community Corridor include magazine covers featuring Rubenstein’s work, two of her cameras and correspondence, including a note from Lennon and Ono — in Lennon’s handwriting — specifying the couple’s selections of Rubenstein’s photos for use on the front and back covers of the 1971 edition of Ono’s pioneering work of conceptual art, Grapefruit.
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