Roy DeCarava

Roy DeCarava Biography

Photographer (1919–2009)
Roy DeCarava was an American photographer who created some of the most iconic images we have of the Civil Rights Movement and jazz musicians in motion.


Roy DeCarava started off painting but traded in his brushes for a camera. His images of African-American life—scenes in Harlem, the civil rights movement and jazz musicians—are now iconic. In 1952, DeCarava was the first black photographer to receive a Guggenheim grant. In 1996, the Museum of Modern Art put on a retrospective of his work. DeCaravawas awarded a National Medal of Arts in 2006. He died in New York City on October 27, 2009.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!