Bruce Davidson is an American Photographer known for his documentary and street photography.
Nearly four decades of unpublished works from a master of documentary photography. Consisting solely of previously unpublished photographs, The Way Back is a deep dive through Bruce Davidson’s more than 60-year career. The book chronologically presents photos made between 1957 and 1992, showcasing Davidson’s exceptional versatility―from his earliest assignments to later seminal bodies of work including his yearlong study of teenage members of a Brooklyn Gang (1959), his extensive coverage of the American Civil Rights Movement in Time of Change (1961–65) and his breakthrough portraits of the residents of a single block in Harlem in East 100th Street (1966–68). Series such as Subway (1980) and Central Park (1992) confirm Davidson as a quintessential chronicler of New York City.
What emerges through this retrospective is Davidson’s overt sensibility and empathy for his subjects and his commitment to documenting them in depth over time. Unlike his peers who photographed historical events, Davidson focused on the people within these histories. Now, drawing near the end of his long career, Davidson offers this book as a parting look at his artistic passage, an elegiac goodbye as well as a requiem.
Bruce Davidson (born 1933, Oak Park, IL) became a member of the Magnum Photos agency in 1958; since then his photographs and photo series have been widely published to great acclaim. At Yale University, he studied under photographer Alexey Brodovitch and artist Josef Albers, the latter of whom encouraged him to pursue his work among marginalized people and communities. His artistic influences include Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson.