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Header: Jess Anderson in Madison Wisconsin
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Different Looks: Photos of Me
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You can see the full-size picture by clicking on the small one. [Loading the thumbnail images takes a few seconds.]

I have a sizable collection of snapshots, portraits, and drawings documenting my life, but they're rather disorganized. Finding them, deciding whether and how to use them, and scanning them presents a major task. Many of the photos shown here are old, faded and otherwise in bad shape. I've added a few stories to try to make it appear less vain.

{icon} 1935. My sister, age 3, looks at the camera, while my dad holds the newborn me not quite fully in the picture.
{icon} 1953. Unbelievably, Peoria High School had a first-rate concert grand piano, which I'm playing here. At 18 I was determined to become a concert pianist, an idea I didn't abandon fully until five years later.
{icon} What a dorky picture! 19 and at the beach with two college friends, the one on the left my boyfriend at the time.
{icon} The college-boy look, Urbana, Illinois, 1955. The other guy, a talented but extremely shy fellow musician named Daniel Jahn, was from Madison. When this picture was made I had no inkling that less than a year later I would be living there.
{icon} The first few summers in Madison, my daytime social life centered on the pier behind the student union. I loved being in the water and sunbathing. This being 1957, I suppose the hair style was derived from Elvis.
{icon} Eric Winter was a 40-ish movie producer whose family lived here. When he was in town we were co-conspirators in a fair number of semi-scandalous endeavors (see next), but the main thing we enjoyed together was laughter.
{icon} The summer of 1958, Eric and I would hang out at beaches and bars and pick up cute guys, get some barbequed chicken and cheap wine, and head out in the country for a picnic. It was simple fun, the guys were usually totally clueless, and we were actually quite circumspect with them. I think we did it mostly to see how far we could go without going too far.
{icon} The regulars of 1961: left to right, Tom Wirth (my boyfriend for a year and a half, it was to end the next fall when he moved to Boston); Peter Korbel, then 16, wild but remarkably sophisticated (I wonder where he is, by now in his mid-50's); me, age 26; Allyn Amundson, a wonderful artist, here 27, who unfortunately died at 40; Lila Lewis, another very gifted artist and Allyn's studio mate. We were all so happy then, unaware of the snares to come. There were more good times after that summer, but except for me, this group of pier-babies dispersed to the winds.
{icon} Nadia Tesich was a grad student in French literature, from Beograd. I was her confidant: she had a beautiful but terribly negligent and spoiled boyfriend, Allen. Nadia and I had a great meeting of minds and were the same age, 27.
{icon} I no longer remember how I met Claudio. He was Italian but from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where his family owned all the electric power. Very suave, but snobbish in the way rich kids sometimes are.
{icon} In 1963 I decided to grow a beard, my first. This is one of those snaps where you try to photograph yourself by holding the camera at arm's length. I didn't have any decent photo stuff until three years later.
{icon} Spring 1964, with my first car, a 1959 Chevie Super Sport convertible, $1450 the preceding fall, in mint condition; it really was the dealer's mother's car; his wife was a singer, I was her pianist, and she confirmed this.
{icon} I went to Florida for spring break in 1965 and there started bleaching my hair. In August that year I went with a friend to the Virgin Islands, staying at Caneel Bay Plantation on St. John. That is a real paradise, believe me. The island on the right over my shoulder is St. Thomas, reachable by boat a couple times a day from our pier. There was about 50 feet of sand separating the porch of our cottage from the water, the most wonderful ocean water imaginable ...
{icon} ... crystal clear, as you can see here. I was in the water for nearly all of the ten days we were there. This young guy (only 17, I think) was also a water-nut, so we made common cause early on, sunning and swimming and snorkeling all day long, with breaks only for meals. The days were hot, about 95, but the wonderful sea breeze never stopped.
{icon} I think this was January, 1966, at the 60th birthday party for my piano professor, Gunnar Johansen, on my left, with whom I studied from 1958 to 1962. On the other side, soprano Bettina Bjorksten, for whom I often played and who would sing Bach arias eight years later in my harpsichord debut recital. I was 30 in this photo, though 39+ years would pass before I saw it.
{icon} In 1966 an admiring friend wanted to give my mother a formal portrait of me by a remarkable Madison photographer named Frederica Cutcheon. This is the proof we finally selected, slightly wrinkled with age. In this period I was very into being a well-dressed young man.
{icon} One of two other proofs from the preceding portrait session. I was beginning to develop what friends call "my fierce, disbelieving look," I guess.
{icon} In 1970 I went to Europe for the first time. This is my passport photo, hence the embossing and handwriting you see on it.
{icon} In the fall of 1971, I put my hair up in pincurls for a dance. I never did it again; I thought it looked ridiculous on me.
{icon} I had switched from the piano to the harpsichord in 1973. In 1974 and 1977, I was invited to play Bach concertos at a baroque-music festival in Indianapolis. Here I am at home in 1977, practicing, although from the score I see that it was Scarlatti just then, rather than Bach.
{icon} 1977, Indianapolis, playing the Concerto for four harpsichords by Bach. I'm second from left. Leftmost is Igor Kipnis, the festival's "big name."
{icon} With my best friend Steve Miller (it was to turn out later) after the 1977 Indianapolis concert.
{icon} 1981 in Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah. I was not really in shape for backpacking in such unforgiving country as that, but the time my friend Zane and I spent there was one of the high points of my outdoor life. It had some scary moments, though, because I almost sat on a rattlesnake and we got lost down in there one day. It is truly a trackless place and there is no water at all.
{icon} 1983. My friend Stuart loves the outdoors as much as I do, and he knew about a rather obscure nature preserve about 80 miles northwest of Madison, where this photo was made. It's obvious, I guess, that it was fun and I was very happy there.
{icon} In 1984 I took my mother to Paris for her 75th birthday. This is the morning of our first full day, the 10th of May, and as the sign says, we're on the Avenue des Champs Elysée. We were still in Paris two days later on her actual birthday. Being in Paris was the fulfillment of a childhood dream for her.
{icon} My god, 1985 and I'm 50! The sweatshirt was from the radio station where I was a classical-music DJ. I was just hanging out downtown when a friend took the photo; that's Jim's car, not mine.
{icon} November, 1992. In my study at home. Another NeXT machine -- barely visible on the monitor, there is a Silence=Death pin on the left, while on the right hangs a pink triangle that says I Support MASN (for the Madison AIDS Support Network, a really good local group). Above the monitor and behind my other shoulder, corners of two of my favorite paintings. Also, one of four prized antique lamps, which I love for the colored glass in them. A lot of my current life passes in this nook.
{icon} June, 1994. In my study at home. With my Abyssinian kitty, Pushkin, then just turned 19 and obviously not wanting to have her picture taken. Woe is me, she died May 29th, 1995, three days before her 20th birthday.
{icon} May, 1994. In my back yard -- nice peonies and my fence, which needs paint and is missing some pickets. It's rather a bramble back there. This was late afternoon, judging by the sun angle.
{icon} Labor Day weekend, 1996. With John Dorrance at the Wisconsin River nude beach near Mazomanie. I had some tan already, but John didn't, and as you can see he got a little on the precancerous side. Photo by Greg Havican.
{icon} Labor Day weekend, 1996. Some guy's van got stuck on on the car ferry that crosses the Wisconsin River at Merrimac. The fellow you see there and I pushed him off. Self-interest more than altruism, I suppose. Photo by Greg Havican.
{icon} June, 1997. In my study. The shirt is for the motorcycles, not the cars. That was a spiffy new 21" monitor, and thank god for Linux!
{icon} December 1999, in New York City. My great pal, the composer Chet Biscardi, always goes to some trouble to keep me in good coffee when I visit, and the blue demitasse I'm holding had the famous brew in it. I was in town for the premiere of "The Great Gatsby" at the Metropolitan Opera.
{icon} November 2004, Madison. The violinist Vartan Manoogian has just signed my copy of his two-CD set of the Bach unaccompanied sonatas and partitas, at a delightful release party for the people involved in the project. Photo by Raquel Paraiso.

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