Nadia Price was born in 1919 and lived most of her life in Memphis. She began her career as a photographer as an apprentice to Avery N. Stratton, a well-known Memphis photographer, in 1939. Six years later, in 1945, she opened her own studio, Photography by Nadia. Her studio was often employed by companies in Memphis to photograph churches, schools, and other significant buildings throughout the city.
Subjects of Price’s photography include people, animals, nature, and architecture, but her most notable works focus on images of African Americans. Her most famous exhibit, sponsored by Arkansas State University, titled “A Delta Era Gone By,” features photographs of African Americans living across the rural South during the 1960s. Though this exhibit was not published until the early 2000s, it quickly became Price’s most celebrated work due to the way she captured the African American experience during this time period.
Price, who was married twice, was very close with her sister, Billy Price, and had a large extended family. She lived her final years in Heber Springs, Arkansas, and moved back to Memphis shortly before her death in 2013.
Price’s legacy represents the evolution of the South from the 1960s to present day. One of the few businesswomen in Memphis during the 1960s, Price earned notoriety for her success. Beyond her business, Price’s photography provides a glimpse into aspects of life in Memphis for almost 40 years. Price’s “Delta Era Gone By” exhibit captures a part of the rural southern African American experience in the 1960s, one of the most turbulent chapters in American history. Price’s photography not only reflects her career as a great photographer, but illuminates an otherwise unseen picture of the past
The Nadia Price Photography Collection includes photographs from the 1930s until the 1970s documenting people, places, and events from the Memphis and Mid-South area, including photographs from Price’s “A Delta Era Gone By” exhibit. Also included in the collection are a large number of microfilm slides of Memphis during the 1970s.
View the digital collection