NEWS   ·  February 2, 2012

MOPA Announces The Jazz Loft Project

ON VIEW: May 19 – October 7, 2012
New York City. A dilapidated loft. Lively jazz. Legendary musicians. A photographer with a sharp eye and a good ear. The makings of The Jazz Loft Project are nothing short of serendipitous—the right combination of events, people and places, mingling together at a distinct moment in time. Tap in to the sound of the summer season with The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith, on view May 19 through October 7, 2012.

The Jazz Loft Projectmakes its West Coast debut at MOPA this summer in an exhibition that captures an extraordinary chapter of American jazz history through over 200 vintage photographs and master prints, as well as extensive audio recordings that complement the images. Audio stations will give access to remastered selections from Smith’s reel-to-reel tapes that caught everything from rousing jam sessions to historic radio and television broadcasts, loft conversations and street ambiance.

“W. Eugene Smith is an iconic American photographer who turned his lens on the most original of American musical traditions, jazz. For eight years, Smith captured an intimate look at the jazz greats of the day, along with audio recordings,” said Deborah Klochko, director, MOPA. “The Jazz Loft Project is an astounding and engaging look at a dynamic moment in American history, which also shows a different side of Smith. Smith is well known as a celebrated photographer who shot for Life Magazine, but this exhibition reveals a dimension of his life that has remained relatively hidden.”

The Jazz Loft Project exhibition was co-curated by Stephenson and Courtney Reid-Eaton of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where the overall Jazz Loft Project is based. MOPA is the only venue for the West Coast tour of the exhibition, which opened at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. For additional information, please visit



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Welcome to the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art!

As of July 1, 2023, the Museum of Photographic Arts and The San Diego Museum of Art have merged to become one unified institution. The Museum of Photographic Arts is now the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA@SDMA).

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