Shooting Stars: Celebrity Portraits by Russ Harrington Opens October 11 at the State Museum
NASHVILLE, TN. — August 21, 2013 — Images by photographer Russ Harrington will be featured this fall as part of three exhibitions at the Tennessee State Museum centered around a musical theme. The exhibit, entitled Shooting Stars: Celebrity Portraits by Russ Harrington, will feature approximately 62 images from his portfolio. It opens on October 11.
Raised in Music City since his birth here in 1961, Harrington is a longtime resident of Middle Tennessee. Since the night he borrowed his brother's camera to shoot a Molly Hatchet concert, Harrington has been devoted to photographing musicians.
A Photography major at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Harrington further developed his style during this time shooting models and fashion ads for a local high-end department store. That work led to an editorial photo shoot with country singer Trisha Yearwood — one of his first big breaks. After Yearwood saw the Polaroid’s from that day's session, she quickly hired Harrington to shoot her next album cover.
More than 500 album covers later, Harrington has captured revealing images of some of the world's most popular musicians and performers. From his famed portrait of iconic country superstar Loretta Lynn and celebrated guitarist/garage band rocker Jack White (which he took for the cover of Lynn's Grammy-winning "Van Lear Rose" album) to his candid shot of Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant cracking up bluegrass legend Alison Krauss to his surprising, unexpected image of CMA Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley covered in mud, Harrington has “shot almost everyone who matters in contemporary music,” according to Museum Executive Director Lois Riggins-Ezzell. His portfolio spans a veritable ‘Who's Who” of the music business, including Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Al Green, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.
Along with Harrington’s images, the exhibit will include several objects such as one of the photographer’s old cameras, a guitar given to him by recording artist Brian Setzer, former singer and lead guitarist of rockabilly revival group, The Stray Cats. Several celebrity costumes will also be on view including the powder blue dress that Loretta Lynn wore on the "Van Lear Rose" album cover.
“I'm excited and look so forward to showcasing this extensive body of my work spanning from the past 25 years,” Harrington said. “Many of these images bring back great memories of the artist, different locations, and the nuances of each photograph.”
“Documenting popular culture is a significant part of the State Museum’s mission,” noted Riggins-Ezzell. “We are very delighted to present Russ Harrington’s celebrity portraits to the many visitors who frequent our Changing Exhibits Galleries.”
Shooting Stars: Celebrity Portraits by Russ Harrington will be on view through December 29, 2013 and is open to the public free of charge. For information, visit the museum’s website at www.tnmuseum.org.
About the Tennessee State Museum:
In 1937, the Tennessee General Assembly created a state museum to care for World War I artifacts and other collections from the state and other groups. The museum was located in the lower level of the War Memorial Building until it was moved into the new James K. Polk Cultural Center in 1981. The Tennessee State Museum currently occupies three floors, covering approximately 120,000 square feet with more than 60,000 square feet devoted to exhibits. The museum’s Civil War holdings of uniforms, battle flags and weapons are among the finest in the nation. For more information please visit: www.tnmuseum.org