Teenie Harris turns lens on wartime Pittsburgh

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Medic soldier with cross arm band and flag, seated on duffel bag, c. 1930-1950, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) presents Teenie Harris Photographs: Service and Sacrifice, open January 27–May 28, 2018. The exhibition is the latest from CMOA’s Teenie Harris Archive, focusing on Harris’s work documenting the experiences of black soldiers.

During World War II, Charles “Teenie” Harris photographed thousands of African American soldiers who fought for a nation that didn’t always fight for them. Separated by years of Army service, Master Sergeant Eugene Boyer Jr. and former Staff Sergeant Lance A. Woods have selected 25 Harris images that speak to their experiences—the honor of military service, and the sacrifices that the families of service members make.

In addition, Harris photographed more than 1,000 soldiers in his studio over the course of his career. Many of these portraits remain unidentified. As part of Service and Sacrifice, the Teenie Harris Archive will make a selection of images available, and seek information about these individuals. Visit the exhibition, or contact 412.622.1011 for more information.

Teenie Harris was one of the great photographers of the 20th century, and his body of work stands as one of the most detailed records of the black urban experience. His photographs of service members, as well as of efforts on the home front, tell stories of black soldiers fighting for the American promise of civil liberties, and the opportunity for a better future.

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Self-portrait, c. 1938-1945, black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

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