For more than four decades, Charles “Teenie” Harris photographed the city’s African American community for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the nation’s most influential black newspapers. This exhibition captures the rich stories and pivotal moments of Pittsburgh’s history through some of the Hill District native’s most iconic images.
From portraits of Pirates pitching ace Al McBean at Forbes Field and a haunting double exposure of Nina Simone to a pair of Tuskegee Airmen standing at attention and three young boys witnessing the demolition of the Lower Hill, Harris documented cultural moments that were at once hyper-local and nationally resonant. Since 2011, Carnegie Museum of Art has been showcasing Harris’s indelible work through a series of focused exhibitions spanning a number of themes, topics, and histories—Hair (2013), Civil Rights (2015) and Jazz from the Hill (2018)—to name a few. This installment celebrates Harris’s work with a selection of staff favorites from these past exhibitions.
The exhibition is organized by Charlene Foggie-Barnett and Dominique Luster, Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art.
About the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive
Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998) photographed Pittsburgh’s African American community from ca. 1935 to ca. 1975. His archive of more than 70,000 images is one of the most detailed and intimate records of the Black experience known today. Purchased by Carnegie Museum of Art in 2001, the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive was established to preserve Harris’s important photographic work for future generations. Thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Carnegie Museum of Art has digitized more than 70,000 of Harris’s negatives, and the collection is available to browse online.