Collections and Resources, Exhibits, North Carolina Collection, Photography

Sounds Stilled: Musical Photographs by Don Sturkey, 1956-1988

Update: Exhibition is extended through Feb. 19, 2017.

An exhibition in UNC’s Wilson Library allows viewers to experience musical performance through the medium of photography.

Sounds Stilled: Musical Photographs by Don Sturkey, 1956-1988 is on view in the North Carolina Collection Gallery through Feb. 5 Feb. 19, 2017. It features 61 photographs of musical greats and local artists taken during appearances in North Carolina.


Download exhibition poster (pdf)

Sturkey was a photographer at the Charlotte Observer from 1955 through 1989, including 26 years as chief photographer. During this time, he photographed more than 60 musical events, capturing memorable moments onstage, backstage, offstage, and during interviews.

Iconic acts include Elvis Presley, The Monkees, The Kingston Trio, Ray Charles, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, and more. Other photos document the first “Rock ’n Roll” and “Rhythm ’n Blues” shows at the Charlotte Coliseum, the 1968 Charlotte Bicentennial Jazz Festival, and the Union Grove Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention during the 1970s.

“The idea for the exhibition came during an opening reception for the exhibit ‘Carolina Faces: The Photography of Don Sturkey,’” said Stephen Fletcher, photographic archivist in the North Carolina Collection. “I had no idea at the time that Sturkey had photographed that many musical events during his career. I decided to curate an exhibition of the best images.”

The Don Sturkey Photographic Materials collection, covering the years 1951 through 2007, is part of the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives in Wilson Library.


Sounds Stilled: Musical Photographs by Don Sturkey, 1956-1988
North Carolina Collection Gallery
Wilson Special Collections Library, 2nd floor
Oct. 7, 2016 – Feb. 5, 2017 Extended through Feb. 19, 2017
Free and open to the public
(919) 962-3765 or



Comments are closed.