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Black History Month

History-makers of Southeast Louisiana

Arthur P. Bedou

Arthur P. Bedou


Arthur P. Bedou (1880-1966)

He was an African-American photographer based out of New Orleans who was for a time the personal photographer of Booker T. Washington and documented his life extensively over the last decade of Washington’s life. He also documented campus life at the Tuskegee Institute and the city life of New Orleans, especially the city’s black residents. For nearly 70 years, he photographed leaders of his nation, as well as Creole families in New Orleans. Early in his career, in 1903, Bedou showed his work to Booker T. Washington, president of Tuskegee Institute. For the next decade, he worked as one of the official institute photographers. He traveled with Mr. Washington and was able to capture the essence of his public appearances and the nature of his work at Tuskegee.


Through his connections with Mr. Washington, Bedou earned projects at Fisk University and many other black colleges and universities. He served as official photographer for the National Medical Association, National Baptist Convention, and the National Negro Business League. Back home in New Orleans, he often did work for Xavier University, documented deportation of Marcus Garvey, and the cornerstone laying of Corpus Christi Church. In 1907, he achieved national recognition by winning the gold medal for photography from the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition. In late 1944, Dillard University hosted the first public show of Bedou’s work.  



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The books listed below are available for you at Sims Memorial Library.