Artwork of the Week: November 30

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James Van Der Zee (American, 1886–1983), Peaceful Family, gelatin-silver print, 1936. 6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. Not currently on view.

This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.”

One of the most important and influential African American photographers of the 20th century, James Van Der Zee worked as a commercial photographer documenting the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s in New York City with his portraits of Harlem citizens. In addition to depicting major religious, political, and artistic figures of the time, Van Der Zee also produced hundreds of photographs of Harlem’s growing middle class, like the unidentified family in this photograph.


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