Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content


James VanDerZee: Eighteen Photographs

September 11, 2015 through January 3, 2016
  • James VanDerZee, Whittier Preparatory School, Phoebus, Virginia.
  • "Black Jews, Harlem," a photograph by James VanDerZee
    James VanDerZee, Black Jews, Harlem.
  • James VanDerZee, Dancer, Harlem.
  • James VanDerZee, Couple, Harlem.

Having opened his first studio in 1917, James VanDerZee documented Harlem’s artistic and cultural renaissance, photographing landmarks, parades, funerals, social clubs, political and religious organizations, affluent families, and celebrities.

The photographer’s work gained widespread attention in 1969, when it was shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Harlem on My Mind. The portfolio of VanDerZee prints in Sheldon’s collection includes a range of iconic images from studio portraits to documentary photography of activist Marcus Garvey.

The Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation Exhibitions and Programs Fund provided support for this exhibition.