Dawoud Bey began his career as a photographer in 1975 with a series of photographs, “Harlem, USA,” that were later exhibited in his first one-person exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. He has since had numerous exhibitions worldwide, at such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Barbican Centre in London, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art among many others. His photographs are also included in numerous collections in this country and abroad. The Walker Art Center organized a mid-career survey of his work, “Dawoud Bey: Portraits 1975-1995,” that traveled to institutions throughout the United States and Europe. A major publication of the same title was also published in conjunction with that exhibition. “Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey” was published by Aperture in 2007 and Aperture is also traveling an exhibition of the same title to various museums around the country through 2011. His critical writings on photography and contemporary art have appeared in numerous publications and exhibition catalogs.
Bey is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University. He is currently Distinguished College Artist and Professor of Art at Columbia College Chicago.