The Photograph

Chess board, at the ready


My photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris
To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

12 August, 2009

Benny Goodman Live at Carnegie Hall, 1938 and Iconic Realism (Click onto title to hear performance.)

(Photograph info: art/243118/72265/Benny Goodman-and-members-of-his-band-1938)

Benny Goodman and his orchestra appearing on the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1938 illustrates the theory of iconic realism. Never before had the art of jazz in America been performed in an established musical forum, where previous to this performance, only classical music had been performed. The presence of this jazz artist on this particular stage enlightened the world audience of the need for cultural affirmation of this art form. From this moment onward to the present, jazz has taken its place of honor as America's original musical genre.


  1. When Elvis shook his hip on TV, Ed Sullivan got so mad and he decided not to show the bottom half of Elvis' body. (What would people think about the stripper-like stage outfits of Britney Spears or Madonna 30 years from now?)

    When the Bealtes came to Japan, conservatives were so raged that the British rock band used a "sacred" place called Budokan. (The place is now used for hundreds of rock concerts.)

    How many people know that many (many) early jazz musicians were drug and alcohol addicts and unhappily died. ( Many people consider that jazz is one of the noble tasted music, and we often have to pay expensive money to see famous jazz musicians.)

    Yesterday's strange is today's normal. Breaking old rules improve culture. New culture creates new cultural icons.

  2. Hiroshi, your examples of Elvis, Brittany Spears and Madonna illustrate examples of celebrity icons. How they represent themselves on stage and the reactions of their audiences demonstrate societal dictates of their time.

    True, many jazz musicians have had substance abuse issues, so have many writers, artists and other professionals. This example of Benny Goodman playing jazz in a forum which previously only allowed classical music illustrated the first time the genre of jazz music was accepted by a very traditional audience.

    The best example here of iconic realism is the Beatles, who represented a segment of the youth culture during the 1960's, performing in a 'sacred' place, out of the norm for this culturally iconic group. The way this example illustrates iconic realism is that it awakened the audience to a need for cultural reform. In this case, the question of what a community considered sacred was brought to the forefront of its consciousness.

    Your final statements make sense. Cultural change occurs over time, and, hopefully, moves society to a higher level of consciousness. (Sometimes it does not, unfortunately.)