Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Not quite what I was planning

As I was attempting to find a nice vintage or antique picture to tie in with my heirloom sewing class, I came across something much more awesome.

These beautiful images were captured by James Van Der Zee, one of the most respected photographers of the era and a prominent artist of the Harlem Renaissance. 

The subjects of his portraits came from all walks of life. He photographed mothers and their children,

College athletes

Celebrities like Jean-Michel Basquiat

and Marcus Garvey,

and ordinary people, including this picture of a glamorous couple dressed up for a Sunday drive.

His life spanned nearly a century of our history.

James Van Der Dee as a young man

And cataloged it ever so beautifully.

He wasn't just a studio photographer. He was an artist with a fantastic eye and the technical skill to elevate a simple portrait into a lasting testament to a society and an era so often overlooked.

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