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Nashville Portraits: Photographs By Jim Mcguire Opens at Art Museum of Western Virginia
Jim McGuire, Dolly Parton (b. 1946), 1794, studio portrait, Vanderbilt
University, silver print.

ROANOKE, VA.- The Art Museum of Western Virginia announced today that Nashville Portraits: Photographs by Jim McGuire will open to the public on January 18 and will remain on view through March 23.

Nashville Portraits showcases sixty black and white photographs selected from thousands of portraits shot over a period of more than thirty years by Jim McGuire, one of the nation’s most celebrated photographers. The exhibition documents many of the leading figures in the world of country music, from such icons as Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl and Lester Flatt to contemporary artists like Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith and Marty Stuart.

A native of New Jersey – an unlikely breeding ground for a fan of “hillbilly” music – Jim McGuire moved to Nashville in 1972 to pursue his passionate interest in the music and the people who made it. Inspired by photographer Irving Penn’s portraits of tradesmen in their work clothes, he began what has become his acclaimed series of Nashville Portraits in 1974 with a photograph of singer/songwriter John Hartford. The series now includes more than a thousand images of America’s most influential singers, songwriters and musicians, often depicted with the instruments that are the tools of their trade.

McGuire also enjoys a reputation as the photographer of choice for career-making album cover photography. Over the past 32 years, more than 500 recordings – from LPs to CDs – have showcased McGuire photographs on their covers.

“We are delighted to host this exhibition of iconic photographs that celebrate the great legends of country music,” said Georganne Bingham, executive director of the Art Museum. “Nashville’s rich heritage comes to life through Jim’s incredible photography.”

Artist Jim McGuire will attend the exhibition’s opening reception and sign copies of his book, Nashville Portraits, on January 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. The book is available for sale at the Art Museum.

Multi-instrumentalist and six-time Grammy nominee Mike Seeger also will attend the opening reception to perform. Seeger, the half-brother of musician Pete Seeger, has devoted his life to singing and playing Music from True Vine, the home music made by American southerners before the media age, which became the roots of today’s country, bluegrass and popular music.

Organized by the Morris Museum of Art, with tour development by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Nashville Portraits: Photographs by Jim McGuire is presented by Clear Channel Radio’s 106.1 The Bull, with additional support from the City of Roanoke.

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