Charles “Teenie” Harris worked around the clock. As a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, as a freelancer at nightclubs, at his portrait studio, as an artist, he was seemingly everywhere. Carnegie Museum of Art’s Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive contains more than 70,000 examples of Harris’s tireless practice. Charles “Teenie” Harris Photographs: Around The Clock collects 25 images that reveal how one individual managed to document the experiences of a community.
At the Courier, one of the nation’s most important Black newspapers, he was out on the beat, covering the day’s news—from civil rights struggles to local politics, from celebrations to tragedies. He was an insider, heading backstage to shoot jazz musicians and sharing candid moments with sports legends. Harris also ran his own portrait studio on The Hill, catering to weddings, social clubs, and churches. On his daily travels around Pittsburgh, Harris captured the vibrant landscape he knew so well. Closer to home, he recorded tender, funny moments with his kids and family. Inevitably, even after covering scenes of nightlife or an after-hours emergency, he returned to his basement studio in Homewood to develop the day’s photos.
Organized by Charlene Foggie-Barnett, community archivist, Charles “Teenie” Harris Photographs: Around the Clock offers a glimpse into the breadth of this hardworking photographer’s activities.
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.
Browse the Archive →