Springboard Design

Teenie Harris

Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story

Carnegie Museum of Art’s groundbreaking retrospective exhibition of an important black artist, Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story, was designed by Springboard Design with Brett Yasko and was selected by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette art critic, Mary Thomas, as best of the year.

“In the first gallery, projected life-size images presented in thematic sequences combined with a jazz soundtrack to create the sense of “being there…” In the next gallery, a room-sized chronology of 987 Harris works and a web-based interactive experience introduce visitors to the rich visual resources of the archive—and offer access to recorded commentary of Harris’s contemporaries—encouraging them to analyze the work from multiple perspectives. The final section of the exhibition (was) dedicated to an in-depth evaluation of Harris as an artist….Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998) began in life as a semiprofessional athlete and part-time numbers runner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District community. He turned to photography in the late 1930s, specializing in glamour portraits. By 1941, he was also freelancing for the Pittsburgh Courier, the leading African American newspaper of the era. In 1953, he closed his studio to concentrate on photojournalism and he became a nationally respected news photographer before retiring around 1975.”

– Carnegie Museum of Art Press Release