The collection of over 140 photographic
prints and 1200 negatives represents a portion of the professional and personal output of
Harry Drinkwater, a Venice, California-based Black photographer who documented Los Angeles's
mid-century modern design movement as well as its wider artistic and social circles. Los
Angeles-based Black artists, architects, and designers and their works feature prominently
in the collection.
Harry W. Drinkwater was born in Bakersfield, California on March 28, 1919 and grew up in
Yountville, in one of the area's only Black families. At around age 13 he left his family
and headed south to San Diego, Los Angeles, and Venice, but returned to Yountville in 1938
to finish high school. He joined the service in 1942 and was stationed in Weymouth, England
as part an all-Black unit of the communication corps. At the very end of his tour of duty a
turn at the camera during the shooting of his company's group photograph provided his first
encounter with the possibilities of photography.
9 Linear Feet
(5 boxes and 1flatfile)
Contact Library Reproductions and Permissions.
Open for use by qualified researchers.