Herman Leonard

(Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1923 - 2010, Los Angeles, California)

Billie Holiday, NYC

1949 (printed later)

Gelatin silver print

16 7/16 x 14 1/2 in. (41.7 x 36.8 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of George Stephanopoulos


More Information

Originally included in a 1949 cover story for Ebony magazine, this photograph shows Holiday at home in her Harlem apartment cooking a steak with her beloved boxer, Mister. The article, titled “I’m Cured for Good,” came after numerous incidents with the law due to Holiday’s ongoing struggle with narcotics. This was the first time Leonard had ever met the singer. “On arriving, I was greeted by a woman in an apron and housedress,” recalled Leonard, “whom I initially mistook for the maid, until I realized she was the great Billie Holiday.”

Black and White