1940s Black Fashion – Photograph Archive

The Photographs of Teenie Harris –

1940s Black Fashion - Teenie Harris - University-of-Pittsburgh-1945

Marilyn-Ware—University-of-Pittsburgh-1945 – photo by Teenie Harris

Charles Teenie Harris from Pittsburgh USA, is now acknowledged as not only one of the great photographers of his generation, but his documentation of the daily lives of African Americans over several decades in a collection comprising over 80,000 photographs, is quite simply unique.

1940s Black Fashion -1942- Teenie Harris

Agnes-Watson-and-Shirley-Holmes-with-war-bonds-1942 – photo Teenie Harris

1940s Black Fashion -1945 - Teenie Harris

Myrna-Aiken-and-Rosemarie-Lawrence-1945 – Teenie Harris

His entire collection is now curated by the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Born in 1908, Harris began his professional career as a freelance photographer, nicknamed “One Shot” as he rarely got his subjects to sit for more than one photograph. His photos appeared in almost every issue of the Pittsburgh Courier. In the 1960s he documented meetings of the local civil rights meetings and marches.

1940s Black Fashion University-of-Pittsburgh-students--1948

University-of-Pittsburgh-students–circa 1948 – Teenie Harris

1940s Black Fashion --1945

Edith-Moore,-Helen-Bolden,-and-Dorothy-Anderson-1945 – Teenie Harris



By the late 1970s Harris’s contributions began to ebb and he eventually entered into a management deal with a local entrepreneur named Dennis Morgan,who was subsequently sued by Harris for non payment of royalties from Morgans commercial operation of “The Pittsburgh Courier Photographic Archive”.

1940s Black Fashion -Pittsburgh-Courier-Vivian-Redd-1942

Pittsburgh-Courier-Vivian-Redd-1942 – Teenie Harris

1940s Black Fashion -Schenley-High-School-students-1945

Schenley-High-School-students-1945-Teenie Harris

1940s Black Fashion -Ernestine-Holloway-in-sailor-dress-and-rolled-hairstyle-1941

However Morgans licensing of Harris’s work to the Corbis Archive finally brought worldwide attention and in 1991 The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission recognised Harris’s work as an “Outstanding contribution made to the documentation of the African American Community in Pittsburgh.”
In 1998 in the last months of his life, a documentary was screened called “One-Shot” by Pittsburgh filmmaker Kenneth Love. Sadly Harris was too ill to attend the premiere. he died in June of that year.

1940s Black Fashion -Members-of-Chesterfield-Girls-1941

Members-of-Chesterfield-Girls-1941 – photo Teenie Harris

Glamourdaze has cherry picked some imagery of beautiful women photographed in the 1940s, for the simple reason that there is so little high quality fashion photographs of African American women from this period.

1940s Black Fashion -bride-Deane-Curtis-Wesley-1946

bride-Deane-Curtis-Wesley-1946 – Teenie harris

1940s Black Fashion -Alpha-Kappa-Alpha,-Iota-Chapter-Sorority-1945


1940s Black Fashion -Jean-Curtis-1946

Jean-Curtis-1946 – photo by Teenie Harris

1940s Black Fashion - Andante-club-members-1949

Andante-club-members- Pittsburgh 1949 – Teenie Harris

1940s black fashion - 1943


1940s black fashion -1945


1940s black fashion -1945


1940s black fashion -in-1947 - Teenie Harris


You can view the entire collection – though you might need a week off in which to trawl through these wonderful images, at the Teenie Harris Archive, courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art.

That’s all!
©Glamourdaze 2016
All Imagery © Carnegie Museum of Art


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