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James VanDerZee

Frances Williams at home after being installed as head of the Manhattan Temple Bible Club
hand-colored gelatin silver print
8 x 10 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, purchase through the Julia D. Strong Endowment and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

Mrs. Williams stands proudly, dressed in her Sunday best and surrounded by gifts and bouquets. The solemn grandeur fits the occasion, her election to leadership in her church. Occurring at the height of the Depression, the vignette underscores the significance of personal achievement, community spirit, and ritual during hard times.