IX: Dancer, Harlem, 1925
Printed in 1974
Gelatin Silver Print, Edition of 75
Image Size: 6 ½ x 4 ⅝ in. (16.5 x 11.8 cm)
Mount Size: 15 x 12 ½ in. (38.1 x 31.8 cm)
James Van Der Zee is most known for his lavish portraits of Harlem’s elite and this is no exception. A dancer adorned in jewels, sequins, and feathers stands relaxed, on the set of a home interior. The model gazes into the camera, gently smirking at the viewer. Her one hand rests on her hip while the other floats in the air, accentuating her femininity and daintiness.
The beauty of Van Der Zee’s portraits comes, not only, from the subjects and decor but also from the dream-like, fantastical aura that they have. The deep sepia and decadent outfit make the subject seem like an enchanted character from a far-away land. This photograph would be a gem in any collection.