Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Art and Architecture: An Art Book - You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen

December 14, 2010

Viewing videos on requires Adobe Flash Player 9 or higher.

Get the Flash plugin from


Copy the embed code below to add this video to your site, blog, or profile.

FREE - Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Legendary photographer James Hamilton is first opening his extensive archive of materials, containing 30 years of photos from his time as staff photographer at publications such as Village Voice and Harper's Bazaar, in You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen, a publication with musician Thurston Moore's newly founded Ecstatic Peace Library. The acclaimed art critic Peter Schjeldahl hosts this conversation with James Hamilton about some of his experiences covering the New York film, art and music scenes of the last several decades.

Throughout the heady years of New York's 1960s and 70s music scenes, James Hamilton was on hand to observe and photograph some of the most significant bands, musicians and performances of the twentieth century. The book You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen reveals across 300 pages a trove of previously unpublished black-and-white photographs of some of the most recognizable faces in music.

Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing at the event.

James Hamilton began as a painter studying at Pratt Institute in 1964. He spent the summer of ’66 working as an assistant to a fashion photographer and did not return to school, deciding instead to make photographs of his life in New York City . In 1969 he spent five months hitchhiking and taking pictures throughout America . After showing photos from a Texas music festival to editors at Crawdaddy! —the seminal rock ‘n’ roll publication—he was hired as staff photographer. This launched a forty-year career of staff positions held at The Herald, Harper’s Bazaar, The Village Voice, and The New York Observer. He has worked on assignment for many magazines including Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and Rolling Stone, and on set with directors George Romero, Francis Ford Coppola, Bill Paxton, Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach and Andrew Jarecki producing film stills. You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen is his first monograph.

Peter Schjeldahl has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998 and is the magazine’s art critic. He came to The New Yorker from The Village Voice, where he was the art critic from 1980 to 1998. Previously, he had written for the New York Times’ Arts and Leisure section. His writing has also appeared in Artforum, Art in America, the New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. He has received the Frank Jewett Mather Award from the College Art Association, for excellence in art criticism, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute named Peter Schjeldahl the winner of the 2008 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing. He is the author of four books, including The Hydrogen Jukebox: Selected Writings published in 1991.

In its second season the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned and emerging artists, critics, curators, designers, historians and writers.