Recently, the New York Times ran an article called "Is This the Greatest Photo in Jazz History?" about a famous photograph of four jazz legends on stage in a small NY club in the 1950s. Reading the article brought up a question I thought I'd like to ask here. (My question is not "is this the greatest photo in jazz history?")

Clearly, I don't hold any rights to the photo, and I don't want to inappropriately upload a copy here, but my question is, in part, about this particular photo, so it seems like it would be very valuable to include the photo in the question. (Also, there's a mural of a topless mermaid painted on a wall in the photo that may not be appropriate for SE.) What's the best approach to ask a question related to this photo?

I could link to the article as I've done here, but it's behind a paywall, so many users might not be able to click through. It's a pretty well known photo, especially among jazz enthusiasts, but I don't want to pose a question like "hey, you know what photo I mean, right? Go look it up," or to link to a not-completely-legit hosted copy of the photo, or whatever other mistakes I could make.

Is there a standard way to refer to/ask about famous photographs that aren't public domain?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The greatest photo on jazz history is 'A Great Day in Harlem'. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ My hot take of the day: I've never really gotten much out of that one. It's definitely interesting as a historical event/document, but as a photograph, it doesn't really hold a lot of interest for me. It probably doesn't help that when I was in college, that photo was the go-to poster to adorn the walls of people who wanted to show how arsty they were, because they could distinguish Miles from Coltrane. Just kind of a negative association for me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not to say that it isn't a great and significant photograph. I just get a lot more enjoyment out of this photo by Mr. Parent because it shows the jazz guys jazzing it up. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Although "A Great Day in Harlem" is exactly the photo I expected to see when I clicked on the clickbaity headline for the article in question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


I think you pretty much covered it. Refer to someplace that has it up legitimately if possible, otherwise refer to it by name if it is a named piece. It's fine to use links to off-site content as long as the question stands alone without the link and if you are describing or giving the title of the work, then the question would stand alone without the image itself.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! I'll see if I can find it hosted somewhere legitimately and link that way if I can. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 3:28

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