Bruce Davidson (b. 1933 Oak Park, Illinois) is an American photographer known for capturing images of communities and individuals living on the fringes of society. Imbued with sympathy for those potentially hostile to the general population, Davidson’s work is marked by a fearlessness and a lack of moral judgement.
From 1958 to 1961 Davidson created such seminal bodies of work as The Dwarf, Brooklyn Gang, and Freedom Rides. In 1962 Davidson received a Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph what became a profound documentation of the American Civil Rights Movement, the highly acclaimed work known as Time of Change. In 1966 he was awarded the first grant for photography from the National Endowment for the Arts, having spent two years bearing witness to the dire social conditions on one block in East Harlem. This work was first published by Harvard University Press in 1970, under the title East 100th Street. In 1980 he captured the vitality of the New York Metro’s underworld that was later published in his book Subway and exhibited at the International Center for Photography in 1982. Other series include Central Park, Circus, Scotland/England, The Nature of LA, and more.