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    Sale 11950


    6 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 97

    James Van Der Zee (1886-1983)

    James Van Der Zee: Eighteen Photographs

    Price Realised  


    James Van Der Zee (1886-1983)
    James Van Der Zee: Eighteen Photographs
    Washington, D.C.: Graphics International Ltd., 1974. Portfolio of 18 gelatin silver prints, 1905-38, printed by Richard Benson in 1974; each mounted, signed, numbered '6/XV' and sequentially numbered '1-18' in pencil (mount, recto); image sizes ranging from 2 5/8 x 9 ¼ in. (6.7 x 2.5 cm.) to 9 ¾ x 7 ¾ in. (24.8 x 19.8 cm.) or inverse; printed title, introduction by Regenia A. Perry, chronology, and plate list (colophon); proof number 6 from the edition of 75 + 15 proofs; contained in original charcoal linen folding box with silver lettering on spine and matching slipcase

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    A leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, James Van Der Zee is best known for his documentary and studio portraits of African Americans from an emerging and thriving middle class. Born in 1886 in Lenox, Massachusetts, Van Der Zee discovered photography while in high school, adding a sophisticated eye to an already formidable musical ear. He worked as a piano and violin teacher before opening his own photo studio in Harlem during the height of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and '30s. He received numerous accolades and recognition for his contributions to, and documentation of, American history; he was named a permanent fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, received a Living Legacy Award from President Carter, and was granted an honorary doctorate from Howard University. Nearly a century later, Van Der Zee’s photographs stand as a cornerstone in American photography, providing an important peek into an inspiring moment in the country’s social, economic and artistic identity.

    The plates are as follows:

    1. Mrs. Turner, Lenox, Massachusetts, 1905
    2. Whittier Preparatory School, Phoebus, Virginia, 1907
    3. The Van DerZee Men, Lenox, Massachusetts, 1908
    4. Kate and Rachel Van Der Zee, Lenox, Massachusetts, 1909
    5. Miss Suzie Porter, Harlem, 1915
    6. Nude, Harlem, 1923
    7. Marcus Garvey and Garvey Militia, Harlem, 1924
    8. Garveyite Family, Harlem, 1924
    9. Dancer, Harlem, 1925
    10. Portrait of An Actor, Harlem, 1929
    11. Swimming Team, Harlem, 1925
    12. Wedding Day, Harlem, 1926
    13. Black Jews, Harlem, 1926
    14. Atlantic City, 1930
    15. Portrait of Two Brothers and Their Sister, Harlem, 1931
    16. Couple, Harlem, 1932
    17. The Heiress, Harlem, 1938
    18. Daddy Grace, Harlem, 1938


    The artist;
    Acquired from the above by the Estate of Ileana Sonnabend;
    By descent to the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text