Alex Harris Biography

For over 40 years photographer Alex Harris has photographed the American South and in locations such as inuit villages of Alaska; streets of Havana, Cuba; and the first markets of Mumbai, India. Harris initially worked with black and white film and switched over to color and a view camera in 1980. He portrays a rich human presence in his photographs taken of his subject’s homes, gardens and roads. His images present a sense of ambiguity. An attempt to reveal the magic in ordinary situations.

Alex Harris was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in the South. He graduated from Yale in 1971 and photographed North Carolina as part of a Duke University research project. In 1980 he founded the Center for Documentary Photography at Duke, which he directed for eight years. In 1989, he became the founder of The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke.

He is currently working on a “Picturing The South” Commission from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to photograph on independent narrative movie sets across the South. His photographs have been exhibited in many museums including exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. He has work represented in major collections including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography, a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, and a Lyndhurst Prize. Harris has published eighteen books including River Of Traps a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction.