William Claxton

William Claxton first picked up a camera as a teenager and started shooting jazz musicians to help pay his way through UCLA. While still in school, he helped record producer Richard Bock form the Pacific Jazz record company. Claxton photographed and designed virtually all of the young company’s album covers. With the jazz/LP boom in full swing, Claxton began to photograph album covers for all the major record companies. He went on to shoot for Life, Time, Newsweek, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Playboy, Paris Match, McCall’s, Queen, Interview and Zoom. In 1958 Claxton became a founder of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and served on the first board of governors. In 1967 he and his wife, Peggy Moffitt, made a fashion film called Basic Black that won several awards and paved the way for Claxton to create and direct an enormous array of television commercials and to become a D.G.A. member. His work has been shown in galleries around the world, and he has had over nineteen books published including 2002’s Photographic Memory, 2000’s Steve McQueen, 1999’s Jazz Seen, 1995’s Claxography and 1987’s Jazz: William Claxton.

Copyright © 2003 The Art Rocks