Timothy Duffy creates one-of-a-kind direct positive tintype portraits of American musicians using an American photography process that goes back to the nineteenth-century. Despite the importance of these musicians (many of them have written songs that others made famous) and the national legacy they represent, they remain little known, often outpaced by other popular performers who have built their own careers on top of the “roots” of these musicians and their ancestors. NOMA’s premier of Blue Muse will include thirty of Duffy’s original unique tintypes, but it will also include an outdoor component in which the museum will partner with a number of local sites to install enormous images of the musicians on buildings around New Orleans, giving these underrepresented figures significant visibility, and introducing the public to these creators, custodians, purveyors, and performers of American music. In making these photographs, in compelling us to pay attention, look closer, know the faces, and learn the names, Duffy has enlisted one American tradition, the tintype, in the service of securing another.

Ironing Board Sam (Sammie Moore), 9th Wonder of the World, Hillsboro, NC, 2015

2015

Timothy Duffy (American, b. 1969)

Tintype

14 x 14 in.

Courtesy of the artist

John Dee Holeman, Hillsboro, NC, 2015

2015

Timothy Duffy (American, b. 1969)

Tintype

14 x 14 in.

Courtesy of the artist

Pat Cohen, Bourbon Street Queen, Hillsboro, NC, 2015

2015

Timothy Duffy (American, b. 1969)

Tintype

14 X 10 in.

Courtesy of the artist