Teenie Harris grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a neighborhood once called “the crossroads of the world.” A serious photographer from the age of 18, he started his professional photographic career in 1937 when he opened a studio and began to take on freelance assignments. In 1941, Harris was appointed staff photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, the nation’s preeminent black newsweekly. His images were disseminated nationally through the Courier, and played a key role in how African Americans visualized themselves. His career with the Courier lasted until the mid-1970s, and his photos of the public personalities, events, and the daily lives of people in his neighborhood offer a historic outlook on this crucial period for black Americans.
Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History explores Harris’s artistry along with the social and historical context of his photographs, and provides a detailed biography of the photographer whose archive of more than 70,000 images is considered one of the most important documentations of 20th-century African American life. Harris’s work is explored through nearly 200 reproductions, including 100 plates of his signature images.
Preface by Deborah Willis and texts by Cheryl Finley, Laurence Glasco, and Joe Trotter. Accompanied exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art, October 29 to April 7, 2012.
Winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
2012; softcover and hardcover; 208 pages with 198 duotone illustrations; available from the Carnegie Museum of Art Store and University of Pittsburgh Press; ISBN: 978-0-8229-6174-1 (softcover)
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