Bill Bernstein: Last Dance
Black Line

Bill Bernstein: Last Dance

September 27, 2023 7-9pm

Bill Bernstein: Last Dance - Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Heirloom Rustic Ales

Watch and listen as photographer Bill Bernstein talks about the onset of his career in New York City during the late 70s taking photos for magazines and periodicals covering the rise of disco music.

When Studio 54 first opened in 1977, the Village Voice sent Bill there one evening. What he witnessed inside that historic dance hall changed the way he saw the world at night.

Fascinated by the inclusivity, freedom of expression and diversity he encountered in the late 1970s club culture in New York City, he spent the next year and a half recording wild parties at Studio 54, Paradise Garage, Xenon, GG’s Barnum Room and more.

With his many personal stories and his now-famous photographs, Bernstein’s presentation will transport you back to these fantastic and enchanted moments.

Bernstein’s talk and accompanying slide show will be followed by a Q&A session.

This event is presented as part of the center’s current exhibit, “Love Saves the Day: The Subterranean History of American Disco.”


Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.

Doors: 6:30 p.m.

Heirloom Rustic Ales

2113 E Admiral Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74110


$5 Woody Guthrie Center members

$10 General Admission


For internationally celebrated, award winning portrait and documentary photographer Bill Bernstein, photography is anthropology. Since beginning his career at the Village Voice in the 1970s, his methodology has been one of researching and representing contemporary cultures and sub-cultures through photography.

The breadth of Bernstein’s career has been spent peeking into contemporary “tribes”—including New York City’s late 1970’s notorious night scene and a 15 year span touring at Paul McCartney’s side as his personal photographer—and apprehending their unseen dynamics, as well as the subtleties of his individual subjects’ lives.

Bernstein was honored to be invited to speak at the Library of Congress in 2017 on his work during the unique and magical bubble of time of the late 1970’s in New York City where he focused attention on the club culture where inclusion and freedom of expression reigned in it’s full glory. This was a special time after Stonewall and pre-AIDS, where the manifestation of sexual liberation, Women’s Liberation, Civil Rights and equality was on display in the clubs and on the dance floor throughout the night.

The openness of Bernstein’s style, like the photographers who have long influenced him—Avedon, Brassai, William Klein, Diane Arbus and Irving Penn—is classical, but current. Whether he is photographing the rockstars of U2, business titan Richard Branson, or the homeless of Bowery Mission, nothing about a Bill Bernstein image is superfluous. Rather, every photograph cuts through public persona to offer glimpses of the unguarded. Consistently, Bernstein can be called upon to deliver the full weight of his subjects’ personalities and render celebrities and civilians accessible to viewers via the immediacy of the moment.

He lives and works in New York City, his hometown. Learn more about Bill Bernstein and his work here.


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