He was known as ‘One Shot Harris’. Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris earned the nickname because he often captured his most moving images in his first take.
The late photographer’s archive of nearly 80,000 is said to be the most expansive record of African American urban culture known today.
Now, fourteen years after his death, Mr Harris’ work is being lauded in a retrospective exhibit, featuring rarely-seen images of Frank Bolden, Sarah Vaughan, Ann Baker, Benny Carter and many others in Harlem.
Initially, he specialized in glamour portraits, and eventually opened his own photography studio.
He turned to news years later, and began freelancing in 1941 for the Pittsburgh Courier – the leading African American newspaper at the time.
He became a widely-respected photojournalist before he retired in 1975, capturing on camera a colourful chronicle of the black urban community during the Jim Crow and civil rights eras now on display.
Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story will run through April 7, 2012.