Evening Attire

  • James VanDerZee, Evening Attire, 1922, gelatin silver print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Julia D. Strong Endowment and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1994.57.3

Exhibition Label

VanDerZee is best known for the studio portraits he made in Harlem after World War I. His sensitivity and the pride he felt from living and working within the community are clear in elegant and graceful images that challenged prevailing stereotypes. The sitter in Evening Attire is dressed in a beaded evening gown, an elegant, full hat, and a foxtail wrap; she holds a spray of flowers. Her stance, coupled with the backdrop, the brocade table cover, and a decorative figurine, evokes formal Victorian home interiors seen in Edwardian portraiture and nineteenth century cartes de visite, the small photographs people used as calling cards in the late nineteenth century.


African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012

Title
Evening Attire
Artist
Date
1922
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
sheet: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Julia D. Strong Endowment and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Object – art object – sculpture
  • Object – flower
  • Architecture Interior – studio
  • Figure female – full length
  • Ethnic – African-American
  • Dress – accessory – hat
  • Dress – ceremonial – formal dress
Object Number
1994.57.3
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

1933
gelatin silver print with applied color

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