Calvin Littlejohn (1909-1993) was born in Arkansas but moved to Fort Worth, Texas, in the 1930s and established his commercial photography studio in the Fort Worth area in 1934. World War II interrupted his photographic work, as he served as an Army private at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri, but upon his return Littlejohn began expanding his scope to include capturing recreation hall parties, speaking engagements, visiting celebrities, church events, school activities, and other everyday events which produced more candid images than his studio portrait work, which he still maintained.
Though Littlejohn spent time as an accomplished gardener, civic developer (in his attempts to revitalize Ft. Worth’s Evans Ave. business district), publisher, painter, and inventor, the demands of his successful photography studio, as well as occasional freelance photography for newspapers like the Fort Worth Mind, Lake Como Monitor, La Vida News, the Fort Worth Press, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, occupied most of his time. Littlejohn’s work provides a comprehensive portrait of the African-American experience in Ft. Worth and Tarrant County during segregation and beyond.
See an archive of Littlejohn’s work featuring musicians, historical figures, daily life in Texas and much more.