Object Image

GGG Photo Studio at Christmas

In the GGG Photo Studio, children gather around a luminous Christmas tree for a festive group portrait. Every child proudly holds a neatly wrapped package, a sign of uncommon prosperity in the year 1933. Two iridescent curtains frame a peaceful scenic backdrop to create a sophisticated environment for this special occasion. After he developed the photograph, VanDerZee applied specks of gold paint, adding pizazz to the sepia-toned print.

VanDerZee was Harlem's resident photographer for more than six decades. During his heyday he photographed every aspect of community life: weddings, funerals, family portraits, church groups, athletic clubs, and even local celebrities. Notably, he served as the ...
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Gelatin silver print with applied color
20.3 x 25.4cm
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2023