Not many people can say that they’ve devoted more than 60 years of their life to photography, but then again, not many people receive artist awards at the ripe old age of 95. Photographer Bill Rauhauser was just selected as the 2014 Kresge Eminent Artist, as he gains recognition for his contributions to the cultural community of Detroit. Hilariously, when we was notified of the award he stated, it’s “an honor that really turns me on."
Rauhauser's iconic black-and-white photographs have been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. They are currently on view at the Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago.
"Bill Rauhauser ranks with the greatest photographers of his generation, but has not received the recognition he deserves," says Richard Rogers, president of the College for Creative Studies. "Though he photographed largely in Detroit, his images tell a universal story of the beauty and nobility to be found in everyday life. His work as an artist is matched by his achievements as historian, curator and teacher. He is an inspiration to photographers and photography lovers alike.”
Rauhauser humbly remarks, "Over the years, I've just walked around Detroit keeping an eye open waiting for something to happen, something significant. And I loved every minute of it."
Here is a selection of his work from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Above: Three on a Bench, Detroit River c. 1952