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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Is It Or Isn't It?

A blog post which appeared on March 28, 2012 by art blogger Dr. Marcus Bunyan of the Carnegie Museum of Art features black and white photographs by African American artist and photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris. The posting regards a collection of Teenie’s images which were on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh from October 29, 2011, to April 7, 2012. I am sorry I missed the exhibit because one of Teenie’s photographs is of a roller coaster and is labeled, “Wooden roller coaster, possibly at Rock Springs Park, Chester, West Virginia c. 1941.” Check it out.

The style of the coaster and the cars fit, but I can’t picture where this particular section of track would have been located along the winding reverse L-shape of the Cyclone. In addition, most drops on the Cyclone reached the ground, according to the photographs I have studied, while the bottom of the slight drop in Teenie’s image is elevated. Also, this coaster has arched wooden light fixtures while RSP had lights hanging from the ends of candy cane-shaped conduit pipe. I’m not convinced it is Rock Springs Park, but I could be persuaded otherwise. What do you guys think? Is it or isn't it?

See more of Teenie’s photographs at http://artblart.com/2012/03/28/exhibition-teenie-harris-photographer-at-carnegie-museum-of-art-pittsburgh/ and http://teenie.cmoa.org/interactive/index.html#home.

According to the first website, Teenie Harris grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a neighborhood once called “the crossroads of the world.” A serious photographer from the age of 18, he started his professional photographic career in 1937 when he opened a studio and began to take on freelance assignments. In 1941, Harris was appointed staff photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, the nation’s preeminent black newsweekly. His images were disseminated nationally through the Courier, and played a key role in how African Americans visualized themselves.

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