James Van Der Zee - Photographs New York Friday, April 5, 2024 | Phillips
  • In 2021, The Studio Museum of Harlem and the Metropolitan Museum of Art jointly acquired the archives of seminal 20th-century photographer James Van Der Zee. Van Der Zee was the foremost portraitist operating in Harlem, New York City, and his work presents an encyclopedic chronicle of The Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of art, music, and literature centered in Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s. This portfolio, published in Van Der Zee’s lifetime in 1974, presents a compelling cross-section of his work. 


    James Van Der Zee is a featured artist in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's current exhibition entitled The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism.

    • Exhibited

      Phillips Exeter Academy, 2008

    • Literature

      Art Institute of Chicago, The James Van de Zee Studio, p. 35
      McGee, The World of James Van DerZee: A Visual Record of Black Americans, p. 18
      McGee, The World of James Van DerZee, p. 25, p. 77, p. 95
      Each citation for various prints

    • Catalogue Essay

      The photographs included in this lot are as follows:

      White piano – The Heiress of Harlem, 1938
      Three people at a table – Portrait of two brothers and their sister, 1931
      Three women on a beach – Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1930
      Woman reading the paper – Miss Susan Porter, 1915
      Daughter on left and wife, 1909-1910
      The Van Der Zee Men, 1909
      School room picture, 1907
      Man in white suit – Portrait of an actor, 1929
      Split photograph – Marcus Garvey & Garvey Militia, Harlem, 1924
      Car, 1932
      Nude at fireplace, 1923
      Wedding portrait – Wedding Day (Future Expectations), 1926
      Family portrait with stuffed dog – A Member of Garvey’s African Legion with his family, 1924
      Moorish Zionist Temple – Black Jews in Harlem, 1929
      Temple with messiah, 1938
      Harlem Swimming Team, 1925
      Woman in chair on porch, n.d.
      Woman with headdress – Dancer, 1925


Eighteen Photographs

Washington, D.C.: Graphics International, and New York: James Van Der Zee Institute, 1974. Eighteen gelatin silver prints, printed later.
Varying sizes from 2 x 9 1/4 in. (5.1 x 23.5 cm) to 9 3/8 x 7 3/8 in. (23.8 x 18.7 cm) or the reverse
Each signed in pencil on the mount; seventeen with printed captions affixed to the overmat. One from an edition of 75 plus 15 presentation copies.

Full Cataloguing

$18,000 - 22,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 5 April 2024