Born in Chicago, Bruce Davidson began photography at the age of ten and apprenticed to a local commercial photographer to develop his technical skills. At 16, he won his first prize in the Kodak National High School Competition and went on to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University. During military service in Paris in 1958 Davidson met Cartier-Bresson and became a member of Magnum Photos.
On assignment for British lifestyle magazine The Queen, in 1960 Davidson travelled from New York to London to tell the story of Britain during the post-war period. The photographs from “England/Scotland 1960” evoke the spirit of the time through poetic and insightful reflections of the people of Britain, their surroundings and their differences. Documenting and exploring Britain from a foreign yet personal eye, in 2005 “England/Scotland 1960” was published into a book for the first time in its entirety.
Davidson continued to photography extensively from 1958 to 1961 and in 1962 received a Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph a documentation of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963 the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented his work in a one-man show of these historically important images.
In 1966 he was awarded the first grant for photography from the National Endowment for the Arts, and spent two years documenting one block in East Harlem. This work was published by Harvard University Press in 1970 under the title "East 100th Street". The work became an exhibition that same year at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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