%C2%A9 Estate James VanDerZee

Winter Engagement, 1936

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James VanDerZee was the preeminent portrait photographer in Harlem during the 1920s and 1930s. His photographs display Harlem’s growth as a center of Black culture at that time, a period known as the Harlem Renaissance. His studio catered to a range of clients from proud parents, police officers, shopkeepers, and newlyweds to celebrities including Marcus Garvey (activist and businessman), Bill Robinson (tap dancer and actor), and Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. (congressman). VanDerZee's career spanned more than seventy years, but his work first achieved broad recognition by the majority-white art world beyond Harlem only in 1969, when it was included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s controversial exhibition titled Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900-1968.

Winter Engagement
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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© Estate James VanDerZee

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