John Mosley

New photo exhibit at Philadelphia airport

Marian Anderson by John W. Mosley

The Philadelphia International Airport has a fine new exhibit up featuring work by Philadelphia photographer John W. Mosley (1907-1969), a self-taught photojournalist who specialized in documenting African-American culture in the city.

According to the exhibit notes, Mosely was a prolific photographer who was known to photograph up to four events every day and whose work was published in numerous African-American newspapers, including the renowned Philadelphia Tribune.

Joe Frazier by John W. Mosley


Today, John W. Mosley’s photographs and negatives, estimated to number about 300,000, are preserved in the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection of Temple University Libraries. In 1984, the collection was donated by historian, author, and bibliophile, Charles L. Blockson, who amassed one of the nation’s largest private collections of manuscripts, rare books, sheet music, letters, prints, drawings and objects related to the history and culture of people of African descent.

John W. Mosley: Photographs of Philadelphia’s African-American Community, 1930s-1960s, From the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia” is located between Terminals E and F at Philadelphia International Airport and is open to the public through May 2012.

John Mosely, Self-portrait