Photograph of Joe Val

In the 1970s and 1980s, photographer Henry Horenstein documented the lives and performances of country and bluegrass musicians. The time marked the end of an era of less commercialism and closer relationships between fans and musicians. It was a time when the casual atmosphere of outdoor venues was popular, and the music fans could often meet their favorite musicians in the parking lots or other areas of the grounds. In this image, taken in 1972 at Indian Ranch in Webster, Massachusetts, bluegrass musician and singer Joe Val (1926-1985) plays a Gibson mandolin in a picnic area. He is accompanied by other guitarists and is being watched by fans. Val (born Joseph Valiante) was an accomplished mandolinist and guitarist who played both traditional and progressive bluegrass in his band, the New England Bluegrass Boys.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Horenstein, Henry
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 11 in x 14 in; 27.94 cm x 35.56 cm
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, Webster, Indian Ranch
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cultures & Communities
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Family & Social Life
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Horenstein, Henry

Visitor Comments

11/14/2012 11:49:13 AM
I was really glad to see this article because Joe Valiante was my uncle. He was a sweetheart of a guy. Thanks for showing this online.
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