Bruce Davidson is undeniably one of the most influential and important photographers of our time. Picking up a camera at the age of ten, Davidson quickly found himself on the streets of Chicago, photographing city life. After attending Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University, Davidson was drafted in the army and stationed near Paris, where he first met Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1957, after his service ended, Davidson starting working for Life Magazine and became a full-time member of Magnum in 1958.
From 1958 to 1961, Davidson made some of his most seminal bodies of work, including The Dwarf, Brooklyn Gang and Freedom Riders. A Guggenheim grant in 1962 led him to create Time of Change, which documented the civil rights movement in the United States. After a one-person show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1963, followed by a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1967, Davidson spent two years photographing in Harlem, resulting in East 100th Street, one of the most powerful documentations of poverty and housing discrimination ever published. In 1980, after living in New York City for 23 years, Davidson turned his camera underground, creating a startling color essay of urban life in Subway.