Biography

As a photographer and educator, Dawoud Bey is celebrated for his rich, psychologically compelling portraits. He is renowned for his explorations of different formal and material methods, which connect profoundly with the local communities he photographs.

Bey’s work has been featured in several solo exhibitions, including An American Project, San Francisco Museum of Art, California (2020); Just Kids, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota (2020); Night Coming Tenderly, Black, The Art Institute of Chicago (2019); The Birmingham Project, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (2018); and Harlem U.S.A. and Harlem Redux, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Michigan (2018). He has also participated in many group exhibitions such as Around Day’s End, Downtown New York: 1970–1986, The Whitney, New York (2020); Black Histories, Black Futures, Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts (2020); Uptown Triennial 2020, The Wallach Gallery, Columbia University, New York (2020); What Does Democracy Look Like?, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Illinois (2020); How the Light Gets In, Johnson Museum of Art, New York (2019); and Soul of A Nation: Art in The Age of Black Power, The Broad, California (2019), among others.

Bey’s work can be found in the collections of Akron Art Museum, Ohio; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Texas; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris; Bronx Museum of Art, New York; and Guggenheim Museum, New York among others.
He has received numerous awards, including PA Lifetime Achievement Award, Rush Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania (2020); 2019 Infinity Award: Art – Dawoud Bey, International Center of Photography, New York (2019); Lifetime Achievement Award, Howard University, James A. Porter Colloquium, Washington (2017); The Lucie Award for Portraiture, The Lucie Foundation, (2011) and Ward Cheney Award, Yale University School of Art, Connecticut (1993).

He holds a BA from Empire State College, S.U.N.Y., New York (1990) and an MFA from Yale University School of Art, Connecticut (1993).

Born in 1953 in New York, he currently lives and works in Illinois.

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As a photographer and educator, Dawoud Bey is celebrated for his rich, psychologically compelling portraits. He is renowned for his explorations of different formal and material methods, which connect profoundly with the local communities he photographs.