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Wedding Day, Harlem

James VanDerZee

1926, printed 1974

gelatin silver print

9 1/2" x 7"

From opening his first studio in Harlem in 1916 until his death in 1983, VanDerZee documented and celebrated the rites of passage and shared histories. Here, recalling spirit or ghost photography, the artist doubles the momentous wedding day of the young couple by projecting forward to their future daughter. Yet this artform was in extricably linked to the creation of photographic mementos of lost loved ones. A truly poignant work, as VanDerZee utilized the same montage technique to commemorate the loss of his own daughter, Rachel.


Museum Purchase Fund