Law in Popular Culture

Client's photos of John Lennon and Sex Pistols are prominently featured in law office exhibit

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A photo of the Sex Pistols breaking out the booze during an early a.m. plane flight might not be everyone’s idea of appropriate law office decor.

But for a New Jersey business law boutique whose client roster includes a photographer who has chronicled rock and roll icons since the 1970s, displaying dozens of Bob Gruen’s pictures of musicians seemed like just the right decoration for its Florham Park headquarters, the Morristown Daily Record reports.

“Narrowing it down to 42 was a job,” partner Anthony Sylvester told the newspaper as Sherman Wells Sylvester & Stamelman unveiled the permanent photo exhibit at a Thursday reception.

Initially, he thought he would buy three or four photos from Gruen, but then the project expanded as he had trouble choosing from so many compelling images, Sylvester said. Now, approximately a year after he started to curate the exhibit, his firm has the largest private collection of Gruen’s work, the Daily Record reports.

Among the striking images on display is a contact sheet of a series of well-known photos Gruen took of John Lennon, on a Manhattan rooftop, wearing a New York City T-shirt that Gruen had given him.

Although rock and roll began as a teenage fad, it’s now mainstream throughout much of the world, Gruen said. Seeing the music transition from a counterculture movement to the subject of photographic prints viewed daily by people in a law office is exciting, he told the newspaper.

“To me, rock and roll is about freedom,” he said. “There is a theme running through all of these, about the freedom to express yourself, basically the freedom to express yourself really loudly.”

Related coverage:

New York Magazine: “Legend of a Photo”

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