Fifty years ago, armed only with a camera, Bruce Davidson scouted the streets of New York for images of individuals who seemed larger than life, eventually finding inspiration in Brooklyn street gangs. Undaunted by danger, Davidson soon headed south to document the Civil Rights movement, including the Freedom Riders—the youths who risked their lives while calling for an end to segregation. Upon his return to New York, Davidson opted for projects with a narrower geographic—though not necessarily sociological—scope. For two years, he kept his lens focused on a single block in East Harlem; he followed this project with a series of photographs of the New York subway system, simply called “Subway.” Now Davidson discusses Outside Inside, the recently reissued three-volume collection of his work. We all know how many words a picture is worth, but in order to get the inside story, sometimes it’s helpful to have just a few more.
DAVIDSON SPEAKS AT 7 P.M. AT THE CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART, 500 17TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 639-1700.