Count Basie and Lena Horne (Primary Title)

Roy DeCarava, American, 1919 - 2009 (Artist)

Works On Paper
Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 13 15/16 × 10 15/16 in. (35.4 × 27.78 cm)
Image: 12 15/16 × 9 9/16 in. (32.86 × 24.29 cm)
Not on view

A central figure in 20th-century photography, DeCarava grew up in Harlem, New York, where he had access to both an older generation of Harlem artists, such as Aaron Douglas and Augusta Savage, as well as younger artists, namely Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, and Romare Bearden. He trained as a painter and printmaker before turning to photography in the late 1940s. After receiving a Guggenheim fellowship in 1952, he built a large body of work photographing the streets of Harlem. In 1955 he collaborated with poet Langston Hughes to produce The Sweet Flypaper of Life. The following year he began a series on jazz that included portraits of musicians, such as this one of Count Basie and Lena Horne.

Signed in black ink in lower right corner: "DECARAVA".
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
2018: "Truthful Witnessing: The Black Photographers Annual, Volume 3", VMFA, May 12 - October 14, 2018
DeCarava, Roy, Peter Galassi, and Sherry T. DeCarava, "Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective", (New York: Museum of Modern Art Distributed by H.N. Abrams, 1996)

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