ADAMS, HARRY H. 1918-1988. An archive of approximately 285 gelatin silver print photographs, 9 1/2 by 7 5/8 inches, 1950s-80s, Los Angeles, with "Harry H. Adams, Avalon Blvd Studio" stamp on verso of majority, date stamp on verso of many, a few duplicates, overall in very good condition with some mild curling, occasional creasing mostly confined to edges, faint scratching to some, five or six photos with significant wear.
Provenance: the family of Harry H. Adams.
A SUBSTANTIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE FROM AFRICAN-AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER HARRY H. ADAMS. Adams documented the African-American community in post-war Los Angeles as a freelance photographer for the city's two prominent black newspapers, the Los Angeles Sentinel and the California Eagle. The photographs in the present archive were taken at political rallies, press conferences, banquets, award ceremonies, and parties. Strikingly candid and mainly group shots, the photos feature prominent African-American political figures, actors and entertainers, musicians, and athletes of the day, including MARTIN LUTHER KING, DUKE ELLINGTON, LOUIS ARMSTRONG, MAHALIA JACKSON, RAY CHARLES, NAT KING COLE, RED FOXX, JAMES BALDWIN, GILBERT LINDSAY, WILLIE BROWN, ANDREW YOUNG, ALEX HALEY, SIDNEY POITIER, TOM BRADLEY, MUHAMMAD ALI, BILL COSBY, RICHARD ROUNDTREE, ISAAC HAYES, JAMES BROWN, STEVIE WONDER, JESSE JACKSON, NANCY WILSON, JACKIE ROBINSON, DOC ELLIS, KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, CLARENCE MUSE, DOUGLAS DOLLARHIDE, HANK AARON, JOHNNIE COCHRANE, LESLIE UGGAMS, HARRY BELAFONTE, JOHNNY MATHIS, RICHARD PRYOR, and ESTHER ROLLE. The photographs also feature many prominent white politicians and celebrities, including JOHN F. KENNEDY, ROBERT KENNEDY, RONALD REAGAN, HUBERT H. HUMPHREY, LYNDON JOHNSON, CARY GRANT, DEAN MARTIN, STEVE MCQUEEN, JIMMY CARTER, FRANK SINATRA, STEVE ALLEN, FRED ASTAIRE, and PAT BROWN. Significant among these is a group of 9 photos of Robert Kennedy at a Los Angeles rally and a meeting with members of the African-American community, as well as six 3 x 4 1/2 inch photographs of JFK also with members of the African-American community in Los Angeles. Also included are three related pieces of printed ephemera.