Joseph Perillo’s love for photography began when he was in high school. Upon graduating he went on to study photography in New York City. After completing his photography training he went be an Air Force photographer for several years. While in the Air Force he was part of Public Relations and was assigned as General Davis’s personal photographer. He had the opportunity to photograph many famous people such as Werner Von Braun and Dr. Messerschmitt. After the Air Force, Joseph worked for seven years in Patuxent Naval Air Station as a photographer for Grumman Aircraft and the Grumman Newspaper. He also worked in motion picture photography and still photography.
Perillo's love for photo journalism took him to Washington D.C. where he worked for a newspaper. Consequently, he was assigned to the White House where he photographed the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. This gave him the opportunity to photograph many historical milestones such as Pope John Paul's visit to the White House and the 1979 Peace treaty signing between Israel and Egypt. Perillo also photographed for the magazine EUROPE and for the U.S. Park Service Theatre Wolf Trap.
The collection is composed of negatives of photographs taken by Joseph Perillo from 1949-1985. The negatives span his career as an Air Force and newspaper photographer. The collection is divided in to three series.
Series one highlights his early career. The negatives in this series consists of famous musicians, singers, and athletes from the 1940-1950s. Some notables are Ella Fitzgerald, Xavier Cugat, Dean Martin, Ray Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole, Guy Lombardo and Gene Krupa.
Series two, his political images, consist of negatives that span the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, as well as other political figures including Senator Edward Kennedy and Werner Von Braun.
Series Three: Entertainers is composed of two subseries. Subseries 1 contains negatives from performances and events that were held at Wolf Trap in 1984. Included in these negatives are performances by Placido Domingo, Ella Fitzgerald, and Liza Minnelli. Subseries 2 includes negatives of famous artists at various events and locations. Famous subjects include Ansel Adams, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra.