Skip to Main Content

Founders Day Exhibit

Herman Leonard

Herman Leonard (1923-2017) was a photographer who became well-known for his photographs of jazz greats. Leonard graduated from Ohio University in June of 1947 with a BFA in Photography and received an honorary doctorate in 2009. For more information on Herman Leonard please follow the links below.

Images from our yearbook collection

Official Herman Leonard website

Included in the physical exhibit on the fifth floor of Alden Library were an LP recording of the Bud Powell Trio entitled Jazz at Massey Hall Vol. 2, the cover image of which was taken by Herman Leonard. Also on display was a limited edition book of his photography and a signed print of one of his most famous images of Dexter Gordon.

Below is an image of Herman Leonard, famous jazz photographer and Ohio University alum, speaking at a summer workshop for children at The Kennedy Museum in 1998.. More images are available for viewing or downloading at the Ohio University's University Communication and Marketing Photo Archive.


Herman Leonard giving a lecture at the Kennedy Museum. Leonard sitting on stool in front of children sitting on floor, behind Leonard are samples of his work.


As mentioned above, Herman Leonard received his honorary doctorate in 2009. Here he is seen at the 2009 Commencement with Dr. McDavis, the 20th President of Ohio University.


Herman Leonard posing with President McDavis at the 2009 Commencement

Charles Stewart

Charles Stewart (1923-2010) was a contemporary of Herman Leonard and both attended Ohio University at the same time. Stewart graduated from Ohio University in 1949, and went on to develop an impressive catalog of images.

Below is an image from the 1947 Athena showing both Herman Leonard and Charles Stewart were on the yearbook committee.


page from the 1947 Athena, showing both Charles Stewart and Herman Leonard as part of the Photography Staff.


On display in the physical exhibit on the fifth floor of Alden Library were an album cover he did for John Coltrane's Ascension, an image he took of Rahsaan Roland Kirk that serves as the cover for the documentary of the Columbus, Ohio born musician entitled The Case of the Three Sided Dream, and a copy of Stewart's book, Chuck Stewart's Jazz Files.