Teenie Harris’s Pastime


Charles "Teenie" Harris, Charles "Teenie" Harris, wearing riding attire, seated on horse and patting the horse's neck, possibly in Schenley Park, with Adirondack chair in background, c. 1935-1940, black and white: unknown safety film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.8715 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Charles “Teenie” Harris, wearing riding attire, seated on horse and patting the horse’s neck, possibly in Schenley Park, with Adirondack chair in background, c. 1935-1940, black and white: unknown safety film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.8715 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

When we talk to people who knew Teenie Harris personally we hear the same thing over and over again: Teenie was everywhere, always taking pictures. We asked his family if he ever slept since the other part of taking pictures required long hours in the darkroom. They said he managed to keep on going with his trademark positive energy despite little sleep at times. Then we wondered, what about his down time, did he ever put down the camera?  His son Lionel Harris spoke of his favorite pastime without a camera:

“He loved that track – golly! He took me…‘Come on, let’s go, we’re going down to Wheeling.’ This one day I said, okay dad. On the way down I said, everything you bet, I want to bet. It was raining cats and dogs out – golly! So I pulled up so he’d go up the steps and I said, I’ll be right in as soon as it stops raining. It rained and it rained and it rained, alright, it finally stopped and I get out and I’m on my way up the steps and he’s coming down. ‘Come on, let’s go!’ I said, what? I said come on, I said it’s only the third race. He said, ‘yeah I know, I’m ready to go.’ I said wait a minute. ‘Well I hit the daily double, I hit the first race, and the second race – time to go.’ He showed me this wad – I said, oh no, you didn’t bet for me? He says, ‘aw here,’ gives me a hundred [laughs]. He was too much, he was too much… He loved the thoroughbreds… thoroughbred racing was it – he loved that. Waterford Park, Wheeling Downs – that was his thing – that was his pastime I guess you could say.”

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Woman, possibly Ida May Mauney, on horseback patting horse's neck, seen from the ground, c. 1930-1970, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.5479 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Woman, possibly Ida May Mauney, on horseback patting horse’s neck, seen from the ground, c. 1930-1970, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.5479 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

We have not found any images of actual horse races in the Teenie Harris archive yet; instead he captured personal images with horses and documented military and equestrian events for the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper:

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Two men seated on horses, with audience in background, at track, c. 1938-1946, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.14762 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Two men seated on horses, with audience in background, at track, c. 1938-1946, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.14762 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Group portrait of Ninth Cavalry on horseback lined up in park, July 1942, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.6810 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Group portrait of Ninth Cavalry on horseback lined up in park, July 1942, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.6810 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

And in one of his longer photo series of over two dozen images, he thoroughly documented a horse show that was a benefit for Hill City (a social services and youth leadership agency) that took place in Hunt Armory in Shadyside in November 1945:

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Group of men standing in Hunt Armory preparing for horse show benefit for Hill City, January 1945, black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.39069 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Group of men standing in Hunt Armory preparing for horse show benefit for Hill City, January 1945, black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.39069 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, William Bell wearing suit and hat, leading horse "Little Beau" with polka dot bridle, posed in Hunt Armory during horse show, January 1945, black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.12064 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, William Bell wearing suit and hat, leading horse “Little Beau” with polka dot bridle, posed in Hunt Armory during horse show, January 1945, black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.12064 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Billie Spellman holding reigns of spotted horse with saddle and bridle, seated on straw in Hunt Armory during horse show, January 1945, black and white: Ansco Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.8716 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Billie Spellman holding reigns of spotted horse with saddle and bridle, seated on straw in Hunt Armory during horse show, January 1945, black and white: Ansco Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.8716 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Portrait of man wearing hat and patterned necktie, posed holding reins of horse pulling cart, in Hunt Armory during horse show, with police officers and American flag in background, January 1945, black and white: Ansco Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.39074 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Portrait of man wearing hat and patterned necktie, posed holding reins of horse pulling cart, in Hunt Armory during horse show, with police officers and American flag in background, January 1945, black and white: Ansco Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.39074 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Four men, and woman wearing dark suit, necktie, and hat, holding reins of horse and "Champion" ribbon, posed in Hunt Armory during horse show, January 1945, black and white: Ansco Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.39055 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Four men, and woman wearing dark suit, necktie, and hat, holding reins of horse and “Champion” ribbon, posed in Hunt Armory during horse show, January 1945, black and white: Ansco Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund, 2001.35.39055 © 2006 Teenie Harris Archive