Daniel Kramer, Who Photographed Dylan ‘A Year and a Day’ in 1964-65, Dies

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Daniel Kramer, who photographed Bob Dylan during what’s described as his “big bang” year of 1964–65 that included two prominent album covers, died April 29, 2024, at age 91. The news of his death was reported by Rolling Stone on May 3. A 2018 book, Bob Dylan: A Year and a Day, published by TASCHEN, presented a selection of nearly 200 images, including outtakes from the Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited album cover shoots. The New York-based photographer and film director, was long recognized for his portraits and picture stories in national and international magazines.

Over the course of a year and a day, Kramer’s extraordinary access to Dylan on tour, in concert, and backstage, allowed for one of the most mesmerizing photographic portfolios of any recording artist and a stunning document of Dylan breaking through to superstardom.

From the Daniel Kramer book, Bob Dylan: A Year and a Day (Photo courtesy of TASCHEN)

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and self-educated in photography, Kramer worked as an assistant to Philippe Halsman and Allan and Diane Arbus before gaining an international reputation of his own. Kramer’s photographs have been shown or collected by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the International Center of Photography, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Folkwang Museum in Germany, the George Eastman Museum, and many other prestigious institutions.

Sally Grossman and Bob Dylan, in Daniel Kramer’s photographer for the Bringing It All Back Home album

Sally Grossman, the wife of Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, famously posed for Kramer with the star for the cover of his 1965 album, Bringing It All Back Home. The iconic photo, taken at the Grossmans’ Woodstock, N.Y., home, shows the then 25-year-old in a stunning red jumpsuit, while seated, smoking a cigarette with one knee bent, just so. Dylan, in the foreground, with the Grossmans’ cat on his lap, was just 23, though it was already his fifth album. The image is surrounded by a golden halo effect.

The Grossmans were fixtures in Bearsville, part of the town of Woodstock, a two-hour drive from New York City. According to writer Bob Egan, the picture was “a radical change for Dylan meant to signify his break with the Greenwich Village folk movement.

“No longer was Dylan photographed in the scruffy clothes of folksingers, but here he was a full-blown hipster country squire, with an oil painting on the mantle, a Persian cat on his lap, and a cool, sophisticated woman lounging in the background.”

The Kramer book, Bob Dylan: A Year and a Day, also includes photos of the Philharmonic Hall concert with Joan Baez; the Bringing It All Back Home recording sessions; and the now-famous 1965 concert at Forest Hills, during Dylan’s controversial transition to electric guitar. The pictures also feature such compelling friends and collaborators as Johnny Cash, Allen Ginsberg, and Albert Grossman.” The book is available in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here.

Related: Sally Grossman died in 2021 at her Woodstock home

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