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Updated: October 14, 2022 @ 5:51 am
Works by rock photographer Jay Blakesberg will be on display at the Morris Museum from Wednesday, Oct. 14 to Feb. 3, 2023.

Works by rock photographer Jay Blakesberg will be on display at the Morris Museum from Wednesday, Oct. 14 to Feb. 3, 2023.
The first solo museum retrospective of rock photographer Jay Blakesberg will take over four galleries at the Morris Museum from Wednesday, Oct. 14 to Feb. 3, 2023, with a preview for members at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13.
Blakesberg will also present a lecture at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16; this will be free to the public with museum admission.
Artists in this exhibition include the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Radiohead.
Each gallery will feature a deep dive into a different aspect of Blakesberg’s body of work including early formative years, live performance, portraiture and the Grateful Dead featuring more than 125 images.
Blakesberg’s photographic journey began in Clark in Union County in 1978. Borrowing his father’s Pentax Camera, he began photographing the bands he loved and the friends in his orbit. In his basement darkroom, he pumped out 8×10’s to thumbtack to his bedroom wall and share with friends, with the only goal to create his own personal memorabilia. Without knowing it then, these earliest photographs would become the foundation for his extensive archive.
At 16 years old, Blakesberg had his first photograph published in print, and at 17 was paid for the first time by The Aquarian Weekly, a free weekly paper in New Jersey, for two images that ran with a review of a Grateful Dead concert. These were the first sparks that ignited what has now become a 44-year photography career shooting for major magazines, record companies, and directly for renowned musical artists.
The Grateful Dead experience is still a big part of Blakesberg’s professional life 45 years later. This adventure provided him with inspiration as a visual anthropologist, photographing the hippie tribe that first blossomed in mid-1960s San Francisco.
This fueled Blakesberg’s passion to keep making the images that continued to document his journey through the decade-by-decade evolution of fashion, music and pop culture.
All the photographs in this exhibit were shot on film. This entire exhibit is presented on archival metal sheets manufactured by ChromaLuxe and printed by Magna Chrome.
This exhibition is curated by Ricki and Jay Blakesberg alongside Morris Museum Assistant Curator Michelle Graves.
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