“Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story” exhibit, a groundbreaking retrospective of works by African-American photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908-1998), has opened at the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library.
On loan from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art, the exhibit is making its premiere in the South and is sponsored by PNC Bank.
On display through May 24, “Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story” features selections of Harris’s most striking and historically significant images.
The photographs — made in his studio and for the Pittsburgh Courier—chronicle the Pittsburgh community throughout the Jim Crow and civil rights eras.
Harris captured the poetry of everyday life of African Americans during the period and extraordinary people who shaped the 20th century, such as baseball star Jackie Robinson and leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.
Complementing the exhibit is the Trezzvant Anderson: Roving Reporter and Jim Crow South archival display. Anderson and Harris were colleagues at the Pittsburgh Courier, with Anderson traveling throughout the Southern states to report on civil rights activities in cities including Atlanta. Anderson’s papers are available for research in the AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center.
In conjunction with the exhibits, the AUC Woodruff Library is hosting a series of programs that are free and open to the public. Events include a lecture by leading historian of African-American photography and 2000 MacArthur Fellow Deborah Willis, an Atlanta Daily World photojournalist panel discussion, and a photography workshop for children.
“The Teenie Harris exhibit offers visitors an engaging and unique experience. His work represents an intersection of art, culture and history. The stories and experiences his images convey are universal. They cut across cultures and backgrounds, allowing any viewer to connect with them,” said Loretta Parham, CEO and library director. “I’m excited that our partnership with PNC Bank enabled us to bring this exhibit to the South for the first time, and I hope Atlantans take advantage of this historic opportunity.”
“PNC has proudly sponsored the Teenie Harris exhibit in several cities within our footprint [where our banks are located], and we are fortunate to work together with the Woodruff Library to offer this distinctive exhibition of works here in the Atlanta community,” said Eddie Meyers, PNC Bank regional president, Georgia.
Visit www.auctr.edu for exhibit hours and a full listing of programs, or call 404-978-2003.
Photo: Eartha Kitt leaping through poster to launch a Citizens Committee on Hill District Renewal program, with police officer Harvey Adams, Vine and Colwell Streets, Pittsburgh Hill District, May 1966. Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.2509