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By Culturekiosque Staff

NEW YORK, 3 MAY 2010 — The public is invited to join family and friends at a Roy DeCarava memorial celebration in honor of the life and work of Roy DeCarava, the renowned master photographer and pioneer in the art of photography on Monday, 10 May at 6:30 pm at The Great Hall of The Cooper Union in downtown Manhattan. Mr. DeCarava died on 27 October 2009, at the age of 89.

Mr. DeCarava expressed an early desire to address the lack of artistic attention given to the lives of Black Americans, illuminating the aesthetic and human qualities of each individual life through the lens of his perceptions.  Over the years, he photographed numerous jazz musicians, including John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.  He was the subject of more than 25 solo exhibitions and participated in dozens of group exhibitions around the world. His work resides in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX. His work also has been seen in retrospectives from San Diego to London, Paris and beyond.

Born in Harlem on 9 December 1919, Mr. DeCarava was educated in New York City's public schools.  Following a brief period of work on the W.P.A. art project, he was admitted to Cooper Union Institute where he studied painting, architecture and sculpture.  Later, he enrolled at the Harlem Art Center and The George Washington Carver Art School, studying with Meyers, Elton Fax, Charles White and Norman Lewis.  While accomplishing his own artistic work, Mr. DeCarava continued for 20 years as a freelance editorial photographer.  He worked for Columbia, Prestige, ABC Paramount, and Atlantic records and for major pictorial magazines, including Sports Illustrated and Scientific American, until the 1970s, when he began his academic career as Professor of Art at The Cooper Union. The recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, Mr. DeCarava was awarded the National Medal of Art from the National Endowment for the Arts, presented by President George W. Bush in 2006.  

Mr. DeCarava resided in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, art historian Sherry Turner DeCarava, whom he met when she arranged to interview him for a public program at the Brooklyn Museum. They married in 1970 and collaborated for the past 40 years on all of Mr. DeCarava's exhibitions and publication projects.

The Great Hall of The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
New York City
Tel: (1) 212 353 41 00

 Photo Courtesy of Sherry Turner DeCarava 

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