Johnson Publishing Company Chairman and Nationally Acclaimed Actor to Host Fall Opening Gala at Carnegie Museum of Art for Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania… Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company, and nationally known actor and Pittsburgh native Bill Nunn will preside over the opening gala for the exhibition Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story, to be held at Carnegie Museum of Art on October 28, 2011. The celebration will mark the world premiere of the first major retrospective exhibition of the work and legacy of the late Pittsburgh Courier photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, who documented the everyday lives of members of Pittsburgh’s African American community and pivotal national figures who visited the city, from the 1930s to 1970s. The exhibition will be on view at Carnegie Museum of Art October 29, 2011–April 7, 2012, and, with the support of PNC Financial Service Group, Inc. and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will subsequently tour to locations in Chicago, Birmingham, and Atlanta.
“PNC is pleased to serve as the presenting sponsor of this historic exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art and to support its presentation in other U.S. markets,” said Joseph C. Guyaux, President, The PNC Financial Services Group. “Teenie Harris created an extraordinary body of wonderful work that also can teach us a great deal about our country’s recent history. This is an exhibition that must be shared as widely as possible.”
Ms. Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Company, will serve as national honorary chair for the event, which is expected to draw some 450 guests who will enjoy a private tour of the exhibition, live jazz, and a seated dinner.
Bill Nunn will lead the evening’s festivities as master of ceremonies. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Nunn is the son of former Pittsburgh Courier journalist and Pittsburgh Steelers scout Bill Nunn, and is a nationally known actor who has appeared widely on television and in major motion pictures, including Regarding Henry, Spider-Man, Do the Right Thing, and Sister Act.
“Teenie Harris was a pioneer of photojournalism,” said Ms. Johnson Rice. “He artfully documented some of the most significant moments in recent United States history, while capturing the character and rich culture of African Americans in the 20th century. I look forward to celebrating Harris’s legacy in his hometown, with the people who have taken great care to preserve and promote his work, which is truly an American treasure.”
“Teenie Harris worked with my father,” said Bill Nunn. “Harris was an icon, someone who captured so much truth, beauty, and history through his camera lens. I am delighted to be part of this celebration of his work and legacy.”
In 2001, Carnegie Museum of Art acquired the Teenie Harris archive of nearly 80,000 photographic negatives, few of which were titled and dated. Since 2003, the museum has scanned more than 73,000 images, all of which are available on the online collection database. Through outreach efforts, lectures and special events, and three Teenie Harris Archive Project exhibitions (in 2003, 2006, and 2009), the museum has engaged the people of the region, asking for assistance in identifying the people, places, and events in the photographs. To date, 20,000 images include content contributed by the public. The online collection search of the Teenie Harris Archive can be found at www.cmoa.org/teenie/
With support from PNC Financial Services Group and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the exhibition will travel to the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago in February 2012, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, in August 2012, and the Robert Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University in January 2013.
The October 28 gala at Carnegie Museum of Art is presented by PNC, with additional support from GlaxoSmithKline, ReedSmith, and UPMC. Also supporting the gala are Ebony, Highmark, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Accommodations for gala special guests are provided by Mansions on Fifth. The event will feature live music by MCG Jazz, which also composed and recorded an original soundtrack for the exhibition.
“This will be a meaningful celebration of Teenie’s legacy and a great moment for Pittsburgh,” said Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art.
Advance reservations for tickets gala may be made online. Ticket buyers and those interested in sponsoring the event also may call 412.578.2552, or write to email@example.com.
Tickets are $250 per person, or $500 for Patron tickets. Patron ticket buyers will have access to a VIP reception in the exhibition galleries with exhibition organizer Louise Lippincott, Linda Johnson Rice, and Bill Nunn.
About Charles “Teenie” Harris
Teenie Harris grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a neighborhood once called “the crossroads of the world.” A serious photographer from the age of 18, he started his professional photographic career in 1937 when he opened a studio and began to take on freelance assignments. In 1941, Harris was appointed staff photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, the nation’s preeminent black newsweekly. His images were disseminated nationally through the Courier, and played a key role in how African Americans visualized themselves.
Like the Scurlock Studio in Washington, DC, James Van Der Zee in New York, and P. H. Polk in Alabama, Harris depicted an innovative and thriving black urban community, in spite of the segregationist policies and attitudes of mid-century America. The longevity of Harris’s career offers a long-term outlook of the historic shifts that took place in the lives of African Americans everywhere. These photographs provide important insights to issues that are still pertinent today.
About the Exhibition
Teenie Harris, Photographer will celebrate this artist/photographer whose work is considered one of the most complete portraits anywhere of 20th-century African American experience. Large-scale, themed photographic projections of nearly 1,000 of Teenie Harris’s greatest images accompanied by an original jazz soundtrack will generate an immersive experience in the exhibition’s opening gallery. Subsequent galleries will present a chronological display of these photographs at a small scale, and give visitors access to the more than 73,000 catalogued and digitized images in the museum’s Teenie Harris Archive. The exhibition will offer an examination of Harris’s working process and artistry, and commentary on the man and his work by the people who knew him. In addition, the photographs and many of these materials will be accessible on Carnegie Museum of Art’s website.
Major support for this exhibition was provided by PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., The National Endowment for the Humanities, and Richard King Mellon Foundation. Support was also provided by The Heinz Endowments and the Virginia Kaufman Fund. Support for the exhibition soundtrack was provided by BNY Mellon. Other generous support was provided by The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Fellows of Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Beal Publication Fund.
Linda Johnson Rice Biography
Linda Johnson Rice is chairman of Johnson Publishing Company, LLC, which is the publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, and owner of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, a global prestige cosmetics brand for women of color.
Rice has served as Chairman since 2010. Previously, Rice was CEO of the corporation, overseeing its domestic and international business operations. She was named president and chief operating officer in 1987. Other positions Rice has held at the company include vice president and special assistant to the publisher, vice president and fashion coordinator for Ebony magazine, and fashion coordinator for Ebony Fashion Fair.
Rice has implemented several innovative initiatives throughout Johnson Publishing Company, which is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in New York, Washington, DC, and London.
Outside of the corporation, Rice serves on the boards of the United Negro College Fund, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Omnicom Group, Inc., Magazine Publishers Association, and Northwestern Memorial Corporation as well as serving on the Women’s and Trustee boards of The Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication Board of Councilors, USC’s Board of Trustees, and the Founding Council of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
Rice demonstrates a strong belief in enhancing the future of today’s youth by supporting education initiatives and corporate internship programs, as well as the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University. Through Ebony Fashion Fair, Johnson Publishing Company has raised over $55 million for charitable organizations, with the majority dedicated to African American scholarship funds.
In recognition of her leadership and achievements, the Chicago Sun-Times named Rice among Chicago’s “100 Most Powerful Women” and the “Top 10 Women In Media.” She also received the Women of Power Award from the National Urban League, the Trumpet Award from Turner Broadcasting, the Alumni Merit Award from the University of Southern California, and the Alumni of the Year Award from J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University’s Black Management Association. Rice was included in Crain’s Chicago Business lists of “40 Under 40” and “100 Most Influential Women.” Working Woman magazine included Rice and Johnson Publishing Company among the “Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses.”
Rice holds a BA in Journalism from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and an MBA from Northwestern University’s J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She has a daughter, Alexa Christina Rice.
Bill Nunn Biography
Bill Nunn made his feature debut in fellow Morehouse College graduate Spike Lee’s School Daze (1988), and achieved notable screen presence in his second film by Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989), playing Radio Raheem, whose ever-present boom box is at the center of a fight that leads to his death. Nunn also acted in Mo’ Better Blues (1990) and He Got Game (1998) by Lee. Though he made his initial mark playing young street toughs on screen, this veteran of the Atlanta stage delivered a critically acclaimed performance as Harrison Ford’s sympathetic, high-spirited physical therapist in Regarding Henry (1991). Nunn subsequently has played a variety of characters, including Whoopi Goldberg’s huggable protector Eddie Souther in Sister Act (1992).
His professionalism has made him a favorite of other directors besides Lee. He portrayed a Southern police chief in Bill Condon’s White Lie (1991) (TV) (USA Network), later reteaming with Condon for Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995), and has also acted twice for Michael Apted’s Extreme Measures (1996), HBO’s Always Outnumbered (1998) (TV), Gary Fleder’s Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995), and Kiss the Girls (1997).
Nunn performed as Tim Roth’s adoptive father in The Legend of 1900 (1998), Giuseppe Tornatore’s first English-language feature, released initially in Italy and then in the U.S. in 1999. He can also be seen in Spider-Man (2002), People I Know (2002) with Al Pacino, and the prison thriller Lockdown (2000).
Nunn has also appeared in numerous television pilots and series, including the CBS series Traps (1994) with George C. Scott, the NBC sitcom Local Heroes (1995), and the critically acclaimed The Job (2001) with Denis Leary on ABC. He has appeared on episodes of Chicago Hope (1994), Touched by an Angel (1994) (both CBS), New York Undercover (1994), and Millennium (1996/II) (both Fox), among others.
Media Room for Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story is available for images and other media-only support materials.
Carnegie Museum of Art
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European works from the 16th century to the present. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understanding of the physical environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our web site at www.cmoa.org.