In the Segregated 20th Century, Schoolchildren Embodied Black Uplift

How a Leading Portraitist Captured Their Refinement and Restlessness

For much of the 20th century, the Scurlock family of portrait photographers—first Addison Scurlock and his wife Mamie and then their sons Robert and George—were the premiere chroniclers of the aspirational lives of Washington D.C.’s black middle class. Over time they forged close working relationships with W.E.B. DuBois and Howard University, as well as photographing Marian Anderson, Duke Ellington, and Booker T. Washington.

But alongside this work—now preserved at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as “Portraits of a City: The Scurlock Photographic Studio’s Legacy to Washington, …

More In: Portraiture

Elizabeth Taylor Never Appeared in Her Final, Most Intimate Portrait

To Capture the Heart of a Hollywood Legend, Catherine Opie Turned Her Camera Toward the Actress’ Home, Chanel Shoes, and Kitchen Table

When they hear the word “portrait,” most people assume they’ll see an image of a human figure. Catherine Opie’s new collection of photographs, 700 Nimes Road, doesn’t quite answer that …