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WHEN COOL WAS KING    Feb 5 - Apr 20, 2014

Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is pleased to present “When Cool Was King”, a major exhibition featuring photographs from a time when cool reigned supreme. The exhibition opens with a public reception on Friday, February 14, from 5 - 7, and continues through April 20.

In their book "COOL: An Anatomy of an Attitude", Dick Pountain and David Robins ask "So what exactly is Cool? That is a difficult question to answer. Is it a philosophy, a sensibility, a religion, an ideology, a personality type, a behavior pattern, an attitude, a worldview?" The exhibition does not attempt to answer that question, but simply accepts Cool as a phenomenon that we can recognize when we see it.

Coincidently, a similar concurrent exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, "American Cool", asks: "What do we mean when we say someone is cool? Cool carries a social charge of rebellious self-expression, charisma, edge and mystery.

Cool is an original American sensibility and remains a global obsession. In the early 1940s, legendary jazz saxophonist Lester Young brought this central African American concept into the modern vernacular. Cool became a password in bohemian life connoting a balanced state of mind, a dynamic mode of performance, and a certain stylish stoicism. A cool person has a situation under control, and with a signature style. Cool has been embodied in jazz musicians, in actors, and musicians. The exhibition featuring portraits of iconic figures of Cool, such as: Steve McQueen, James Dean, Bridgette Bardot, the Rat Pack, 1960's-era Rolling Stones, Beatles, Marianne Faithful, Nico and the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, Joe Namath, each of whom has contributed an original artistic vision to American culture symbolic of a particular historical moment.

Monroe Gallery of Photography was founded by Sidney S. Monroe and Michelle A. Monroe. Building on more than four decades of collective experience, the gallery specializes in classic black & white photography with an emphasis on humanist and photojournalist imagery. The gallery also represents a select group of contemporary and emerging photographers.

Gallery hours are 10 to 6 Monday through Saturday, 10 to 5 Sunday. Admission is free. For further information, please call: 505.992.0800; E-mail: Interviews with select photographers and Media kit with images available upon request.

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