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James VanDerZee

"Untitled, (Boxers)"
"Untitled, (Boxers)"

James VanDerZee was born in Lenox, MA. in 1886. He died in New York in 1983.

Known for:
Sixty-year visual documentation of Harlem life and the Harlem Renaissance. James VanDerZee’s artistic studio portraits and photographs of family and civic groups provide a vibrant history of African-Americans in the 20th century in New York City.

Most Popular Images:
“Nude, Harlem”; “Wedding Couple”; “Christmas, 1930”; “My Corsage”.

Did you know ... ?
• VanDerZee's parents worked as the maid and butler for president Ulysses S. Grant.
• Marcus Garvey commissioned VanDerZee to capture the African-American experience for the Universal Negro Improvement Association.
• A 1967 NY Museum of Modern Art exhibit introduced VanDerZee’s photographs to the world.

Sometimes the photographs seemed to be more valuable to me than they did to the people I was photographing because I put my heart and soul into them."

General Format:
8” x 10”, 5” x 7” silver gelatin prints.

How many photographs exist?
Very small editions (1-10) except the 1974 portfolio, edition of 75.


How are the photographs printed and signed?
Some signed on negative. Many stamped au verso (back of photograph).


VanDerZee, published in 1974 by Lunn, LTD.

Books - In Print (order yours now!):
VanDerZee: Photographer 1886-1983.

A Gallery for Fine Photography has a great selection of photographs available.

Price History:
1976: $350
1986: $500-$2,000
1996: $750-$7,000
2001: $950-$20,000

"Famous Evie Jessie and her choir"

"Famous Evie Jessie and her choir"

Authenticity is guaranteed.
Prices and availability are subject to change without prior notice.

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