PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — A photo exhibit at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in north Portland features the work of Carl Henniger, who photographed many of the top jazz performers in Portland more than 60 years ago.
Of Henniger’s hundreds of historic images, 30 are showcased in the “We Had Jazz” exhibit. The images show 48 different jazz artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole.
Portland’s golden age of jazz peaked between 1948 and 1956, according to organizers. During that time period, national and West Coast tours would know to make a stop in Portland.
The exhibit was put together by the Regional Arts and Culture Council as a way to show people of all generations some of the local history.
Students from Catlin Gabel School stopped to see the exhibit on a field trip on Wednesday to learn more about Black History Month in Portland.
“The kids learn quite a bit about, not only red-lining, urban renewal, gentrification … but how they fit into the current gentrification of the Albina district,” Carter Latendresse, a 6th grade English teacher, said.
“I think it’s really interesting, just how it’s displayed and the history behind it,” Lilah Doogan, a 6th grade student, said.
The photographer’s son, Mike Henniger, was at the exhibit on Wednesday morning to answer questions about his father’s work. Mike found the photos buried in a garage, he says.