Six CelebStoners Make Cool 100 List

Jimi Hendrix - photo by Linda McCartney.

The Cool 100 of American icons is now on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC (8th and F Streets). The exhibit, which opened on Feb. 7 and runs through Sept. 7, is curated by Prof. Joel Dinerstein (Tulane) and Frank Goodyear III (co-director, Bowdoin College Music & Art).

Here are the "cool credentials": originality of artistic vision and especially of a signature style; cultural rebellion, or transgression in a given historical moment; iconicity, or a certain level of high-profile recognition; and recognized cultural legacy (lasting more than a decade).

The exhibit is broken down into four categories:

• The Roots of Cool - includes James Cagney, Ernest Hemingway, Georgia O'Keefe, Bessie Smith and Mae West.

• The Birth of Cool - includes Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Lenny Bruce, William S. Burroughs, Miles Davis, James Dean, Duke Ellington. Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Guthrie, Billie Holiday, Jack Kerouac, Gene Krupa, Robert Mitchum, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, Hank Williams and Lester Young.

• Cool and Counterculture - includes James Brown, Johnny Cash, Marvin Gaye, Deborah Harry, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Carlos Santana, Patti Smith, Hunter S. Thompson and Frank Zappa.

• The Legacy of Cool - includes David Byrne, Kurt Cobain, Johnny Depp, Chrissie Hynde, Willie Nelson, Susan Sarandon, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart and Neil Young.

Check out the entire list here.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.