Works in the Collection
Adger Cowans was born in 1936 in Columbus, Ohio. He adds to an illustrious family history that includes his great-great-grandfather, a Buffalo Soldier, and his cousin, Dr. Early Sherrard, a Tuskegee Airman. Cowans earned a BFA in photography from Ohio University and continued his education at the School of Motion Picture Arts and the School of Visual Arts. He served as a photographer in the Navy until 1960 before moving to New York to work as an assistant for Gordon Parks at Life magazine. Cowans was awarded a John Hay Whitney Fellowship in 1962. In 1963, he and a collective of fellow New York photographers including Louis Draper and Roy Decarava founded the Kamoinge Workshop.
Cowans work has been published in a number of magazines including Essence, Ebony, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Time, and Modern Photography and has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum of Harlem, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Harvard Fine Art Museum, among others. He has also taught photography at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, and the Cleveland Institute of Arts. Today, he continues his photography and painting from his studio in Connecticut.