More Elvis Photos Worthy of American Cool Exhibition

American Cool Photo - Elvis Peforming at Tupelo 1956

This is the picture chosen to represent Elvis in the American Cool exhibition presented by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition shows photographs of 50 men and 50 women selected as typifying cool during the last century in America. It runs through September 7, 2014.

 

American Cool Exhibition at National Portrait Gallery

 

It’s not surprising that many of the American Cool are rock singers or other assorted musicians. The list includes:

James Brown, Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, Madonna, Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Deborah Harry (Blondie), Jimi Hendrix, Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Gene Krupa, Willie Nelson, Charlie Parker, Prince, Selena, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Carlos Santana, Tupac Shakur, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, and Muddy Waters.

One notable omission is Michael Jackson. I guess too many things have happened that diminished his cool factor.

 

Andy Warhol and Elvis Paintings

Andy Warhol also made the list, and look at the photo of him they chose to show the exhibition.

 

In addition to the list and the photos of each cool person, the website and related links have passages explaining what qualities represent cool. I culled out some of the best ideas and matched them up with appropriate Elvis pictures.

 

Elvis - exudes the aura of something new and uncontainable
To be cool means to exude the aura of something new and uncontainable.

 

 Elvis - the opposite of innocence

Cool is the opposite of innocence.

 

Elvis - an original artistic vision carried off with a signature style

[A cool person has] an original artistic vision carried off with a signature style.

 

 Elvis - a charismatic edge and a dark side

Someone cool has a charismatic edge and a dark side.

 

 Elvis - an earned form of individuality

Cool is an earned form of individuality.

 

 Elvis - a recognized cultural legacy

[A cool person has] a recognized cultural legacy.


 Elvis - the opposite of innocence

Cool referrers to a combination of wildness and intensity in men unconcerned with social conformity.

 

Elvis - has situation under control, and with a signature style

A cool person has a situation under control, and with a signature style.

 

Elvis - created an original persona without precedent in American culture

Every individual here created an original persona without precedent in American culture.

 

Elvis - contributed an original artistic vision to American culture symbolic of a particular historical moment

[A cool person] has contributed an original artistic vision to American culture symbolic of a particular historical moment.

 

Elvis - rebellious self-expression, charisma, edge and mystery

Cool carries a social charge of rebellious self-expression, charisma, edge and mystery.

 

Elvis - iconic power, or instant visual recognition

[A cool person has] iconic power, or instant visual recognition.

 

For my money, the National Portrait Gallery could have posted just photos of Elvis for their American Cool exhibition.

 

© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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3 Responses to More Elvis Photos Worthy of American Cool Exhibition

  1. Yes, I am reading it regularly. To each his own, Phil, with so many real images of Elvis, I hate photoshopped picture. :-)

  2. Phil,

    The photo of Elvis with the shades (above the King Creole photo) is a fake!!

    Archie

    • Hi Archie: Glad you are reading ElvisBlog regularly. Thank you.

      Yes, I know that photo is Photoshopped, but it is such a great image. As the blog article said, there were many passages in the American Cool website explaining what qualities represent cool. I took some of the best ideas and matched them up with Elvis pictures that fit the text. This fake one seemed to work well with, “Cool is an earned form of individuality.” Maybe not. Good catch. I guess the readers should know.

      Phil

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