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2012/27/4 Photographic print, publicity photograph of Nat 'King' Cole, paper / chipboard, photographer unknown, used by Lee Gordon and Max Moore, Australia, 1955. Click to enlarge.

Publicity photograph of Nat King Cole

This is one of a group of mounted photographs collected by Sydney-based tour manager Max Moore. It is relevant to the history of concert tours of Australia by overseas artists in the 1950s, and helps illustrate the remarkable career of promoter Lee Gordon. From 1954 to 1962, American-born Gordon brought the world's biggest musical stars to Australia's entertainment-starved masses. The photo was originally displayed in Gordon's office, providing a rare and direct material connection to the …


Object No.


Object Statement

Photographic print, publicity photograph of Nat 'King' Cole, paper / chipboard, photographer unknown, used by Lee Gordon and Max Moore, Australia, 1955

Physical Description

Portrait-format black and white publicity photograph of Nat 'King' Cole, wearing a suit and posing for the camera. Cole's name and his management company's information is printed below the image. The photograph is mounted on a thick piece of chipboard with black painted sides.


Printed in black on front of photograph, 'NAT "KING" COLE / Personal Management: Carlos Gastel / MANAGEMENT / GENERAL ARTISTS CORPORATION / NEW YORK - CHICAGO - BEVERLY HILLS / LONDON'.



252 mm


197 mm


10 mm



Photographer and printer unknown. The photo was mounted on to chipboard for display in the office of Lee Gordon.



From 1955 until the early 1960s, this actual mounted photograph of Nat 'King' Cole hung in Lee Gordon's office in the Weaver Building at 151 Bayswater Road, Rushcutters Bay, on the wall behind his white boomerang-shaped desk. Lee Gordon died in 1963. His company Big Show Pty Ltd was wound up and Max Moore took possession of the photograph.

This photograph is one of a series collected by Max Moore, as a reminder of the entertainers with whom he worked during his long career as a show business tour manager based in Sydney. Artists' managers or agents sent photos of their entertainers to the Australian concert promoters, to be used for publicity purposes in concert programs, newspapers and magazine articles. From his earliest days with promoter Lee Gordon, Moore would often ask the artists to sign the photos, and many autographs include a warm dedication to him. When he left the Lee Gordon organisation, Moore continued the practice of having touring artists sign publicity photos which he then had mounted on chipboard. For many years the photographs were proudly displayed in his office, as pictured on the cover of his 2003 autobiography 'Some Days are Diamonds'.


Credit Line

Gift of Robert Moore, 2012

Acquisition Date

8 March 2012

Cite this Object


Publicity photograph of Nat King Cole 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 2 August 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Publicity photograph of Nat King Cole |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=2 August 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}