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Three Men, New York, 1961

Three Men, New York, 1961

Steve Schapiro (1934 – 2022) was born in New York City. His formal education in photography began when he studied with W. Eugene Smith in the early 1960s. In 1961, Schapiro began to work as a freelance photojournalist, his photographs appearing in magazines including Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, and People.


Schapiro’s photographs have been widely reproduced in magazines and books related to American cultural history from the 1960s, civil rights, and motion pictures. Monographs of Schapiro’s work include the award-winning American Edge (2000), a book about the spirit of the turbulent decade of the 1960s in America; and Schapiro's Heroes (2007) which offers intimate profiles of ten iconic figures. Taschen then released The Godfather Family Album: Photographs by Steve Schapiro in 2008, followed by Taxi Driver (2010), both initially in signed limited editions. This was followed by Then And Now (2012), Barbra (2014) featuring Schapiro and Lawrence Schiller's photos of Streisand, Bliss about the changing hippie generation (2015), BOWIE (2016), Misericordia (2016), a facility for people with developmental disabilities, and—in 2017—Ali published by powerHouse and Taschen's Lucie award-winning The Fire Next Time with James Baldwin's text and Schapiro's civil rights photos from 1963 to 1968.


Museums and galleries have exhibited Schapiro’s photographs worldwide. The High Museum of Art’s Road to Freedom, which traveled widely in the United States, includes numerous photographs from the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr. by Schapiro. Recent solo shows have been mounted in Los Angeles, London, Santa Fe, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin. He has had large museum retrospective exhibitions in the United States, Spain, Russia, and Germany.


Schapiro’s work is represented in many private and public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C.; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. In 2017, he received the James Joyce Award from University College in Dublin and was awarded the Lucie award for achievement in photojournalism.