December 9


December 9, 1919 Roy Rudolph DeCarava, photographer, was born in Harlem, New York. DeCarava determined early that he wanted to be an artist and initially worked as a painter and commercial illustrator. Eventually, he was drawn to photography and in 1955 opened A Photographer’s Gallery, pioneering an effort to win recognition for photography as a fine art. Also in 1955, he collaborated with Langston Hughes on a book about life in Harlem, “The Sweet Flypaper of Life.” DeCarava served as professor of photography at Cooper Union Institute from 1968 to 1975 and Hunter College from 1975 to his death. In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, by President George W. Bush. DeCarava died October 27, 2009. A collection of his photographs, “Roy DeCarava, Photographs,” was published in 1981.


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