In 1963, at the age of eighty, Addison N. Scurlock retired from the business and sold Scurlock Studios to sons Robert and George. The business was re-incorporated under the name Custom Craft Studios, and from that point on consisted of two divisions: Scurlock Studios, which handled the photography; and Custom Craft, which handled all of the b/w and color processing and printing, both commercial and in-house. Addison Scurlock died one year later.

     George Scurlock worked primarily out of the original studio at 900 U Street, N.W., Robert Scurlock out of Custom Craft Studios at 1813 18th Street N.W. By 1976, the studio portion of the business on 900 U Street was forced to move by the construction of the Metro subway Green-Line under U Street. Robert Scurlock tried to have then-Mayor Marion Barry intercede and save 900 U Street as an historical landmark, but to no avail. In 1977, after sixty-six years of service to the Black community of Washington, D.C., the building was razed, and although the Metro Subway did indeed begin service to the U Street Corridor some eighteen years later, 900 U Street remained a vacant lot until 1999.16

     Nineteen seventy-six also marked the year in which Addison N. Scurlock was posthumously honored with the first major retrospective of his photographic career. "The Historic Photographs of Addison N. Scurlock" ran from June 19th through August 29, 1976 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and contained one-hundred and twenty-one photos selected and printed by Robert Scurlock for the show. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center then director Michael R. Winston wrote the introduction for the catalog, in which he lauded:

"That he was one of America's great photographers is obvious . . . What may be most striking . . . are the qualities of quiet dignity, cultivation and achievement that are captured by Addison Scurlock. His reputation among Black Americans was so well established that Black leaders from all regions of the country traveled to his studio for the inimitable portrait by a master craftsman. . . . In the work of Addison Scurlock, the specialist in the evolution of American photography finds rich possibilities for analysis. For those with an aesthetic interest in rendering human character through the medium of photography, there are also real rewards. For all Americans anxious to recapture a sense of a world too little appreciated, or understood, the sensitive and revealing work of Addison Scurlock is a genuine treasure."17

 

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HUAN 6 
November 2000