Thursday, February 19, 2015


As notable Harlem historian Jonathan Gill pointed out in our previous history post, the late James Van Der Zee saw a revival of his work in the more modern decade and took photos of celebrities of the era in the latter part of his life.  After a retrospective at the Met in 1969, the photographer known for documenting the exuberant arrival of the African-American middle class to Harlem in the early part of the century would then become a celebrity photographer until his passing in 1983.  The above photo was taken of Jean-Michel Basquiat in the style that Van Der Zee made famous and looks even quite fashionably apropos today.

Miraculously enough, the original Van Der Zee studio still has the facade intact today on Lenox by 124th Street as mentioned in our past post: LINK

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