Bruce Davidson Public Issues Photographer

Where is Bruce Davidson from? Where did he grow up? What time period?

Bruce Davidson was born on September 5, 1933 in Oak Park, Illinois. The same year Hitler was elected, yikes. Bruce started taking an interest in photography at the age of ten when his mother created a darkroom in their house basement. After completing high school he first went to Rochester Institute of Technology, then Yale University.

"East 100th Street" Collection

What happened in his life that was significant? Memorable?

After college Davidson was drafted, where he mainly followed assignments regarding photography. With this opportunity an editor recognized his talents and offered him a permanent job to the post newspaper, where he further out his talent. Later on, he was stationed in Paris, where he met Henri Cartier, a worker for Magnum photo agency, who again recognized him. Making Bruce a future worker for the company. During the following years he created one of his most famous pieces of work, the main focus being the Civil Rights Movement. If Bruce were to never join the military who know where he’ll be now?

"Back of the Bus" (from Brooklyn Gang) -During the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) photographer Bruce Davidson read about a Brooklyn Gang called The Jokers. He followed them around documenting their lifestyle, for Magnum in 1959 as a full member. Davidson captured this image of three of the gang members sitting in the back of a bus with an African-American couple, while segregation on buses was still in place.

What is the overall meaning of his artwork?

Bruce Davidson wanted everyone to know the current problems his country, his world was dealing with. Most of his photographs involve the Civil Rights Movement. His photos showed how the country was split in two, he included poverty, racial, and social economic issues. Davidson's photos were always somehow personally connected to him, he mainly portraits photos with a deep meaning.

"Welsh Miners" series, 1965

More of his work

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