Music, ‘Allen at the Community War Memorial Theatre, Backstage’ © Lew Allen at Proud Galleries London

Music, ‘Allen at the Community War Memorial Theatre, Backstage’

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© Lew Allen
Rochester, U.S.A. 15 October 1958
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity

Lew Allen’s body of work delves into a wonderful and nostalgic bygone era that captured the meteoric rise of the ‘King of Rock’; The year was 1956, a defining year for Elvis Presley, with the singer being on the brink of superstardom. A young Presley was coming to play live at the Cleveland Arena in Ohio and an amateur photographer named Lew Allen, whose only professional experience was working for his high school newspaper at Cleveland Heights High School, was invited to capture him. All three Cleveland newspapers were on-strike so Lew Allen was given unfettered access to photograph Elvis both backstage and during the performance.

This series of stunning images were captured by Lew Allen in Cleveland and New York from 1956 to ‘58, Allen’s work features a stellar assemblage of early rock ’n’ roll icons. His lens embodies one of the last links to visually document those early days when rock was just beginning. This remarkable work takes you back to a time before these rock pioneers rose to legendary status.

‘Note that my camera and flash battery pack can be seen reflected in the mirror. My film pack holder is in my jacket pocket.’ Lew Allen

About Lew Allen
Currently residing in America, Lew Allen received a Bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1961 and studied with photographers Minor White, Ralph Hattersley and attended lectures from Ansel Adams and other noted photographers. Lew Allen’s photography was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London -in conjunction with a BBC documentary featuring his story of Elvis. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery selected his work for their permanent collection.

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