The Harlem Album: A Century in Images

Josephine Baker at the Roxy, 1950

Diana Ross Backstage at the Apollo, 1965

Malcolm X at a Rally on Lenox Avenue, 1965

Mohammed Ali and Malcolm X, 1965

Cadillac and Racoon Coats in Harlem, 1932

A Woman with Hanging Overalls, 1978

The Harlem Album: A Century in Images

The Harlem Album: A Century in Images is a remarkable collection of photographs curated by Thelma Golden at the Studio Museum in Harlem.  Home to writers and revolutionaries, artists and musicians, Harlem has also long been a source of inspiration for countless photographers.  The selection of images provided here includes photography by James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, Dawoud Bey and Kenneth Nelson, with photographs that reveal a broad and beautiful new visual survey of the neighborhood.

The choices in this collection were all about offering a wide variety of ways of looking and seeing and thinking,” says Studio Museum Curator Golden.  Even when it comes to some of Harlem’s legendary icons, the variety of photographs is telling.  There are the pictures of Malcolm X addressing a crowd, but also intimate scenes in which Diana Ross and James Brown shed their public masks.  Joe Louis, surrounded by cheering locals, peers coolly at the camera.  And Langston Hughes stands, appropriately, on his own stoop, an architectural feature that serves as a “site of memory” in many Harlem photographs.  In a neighborhood that has symbolized so much, to people all around the world, the stoop was also a kind of threshold: between home and the larger world.

James Van Der Zee: Photographer of the Harlem Renaissance

Gordon Parks: Legendary Photographer, Filmmaker, Writer and Composer

Thelma Golden: How Art Gives Shape to Cultural Change

Slide Show: The Harlem Album/A Century in Images

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

Please Share This:

Share

Josephine Baker: A Diva’s Diva

JOSEPHINE BAKER: SHE KISSED AT THE CLOUDS

JOSEPHINE BAKER: LIFE WAS A CABARET

Born in 1906, Josephine Baker journeyed the vaudeville roads during her teenage years.  A Black woman, and reminded of it daily, she later sailed for Europe. In Europe, she gleamed like a diamond in her singing performances.  In Paris, as the cabaret seasons passed she kept dazzling her audiences.  She sang, she laughed, she clowned.  But, home was an ocean away. On winter evenings an expatriate, even in a crowd, could feel very lonely.   Sometimes she cried.  And cried.

French artists drew her, photographers snapped pictures of her.  The lithographs were colorful and bawdy.  French politicians gaped at her on the stage and wondered about her America.  Literary lions couldn’t resist writing about her.  The poet e. e. cummings said of her: “She enters through a dense electric twilight, walking backwards on hands and feet, legs and arms stiff, down a huge jungle tree as a creature neither infrahuman nor superhuman but somehow both: a mysteriously unkillable Something, equally non-primitive and uncivilized, or beyond time in the sense that emotion is beyond arithmetic.”

During World War II, she took an active role in the French Resistance, spying on the Nazis. In 1961, she was awarded The French Legion of Honor for her wartime efforts.

Two years later, Josephine Baker attended the March on Washington.   It was a hot and steamy day on the Washington Mall.  Still, she wore her Free French uniform and her Legion medal.   Josephine marched proudly right alongside the Mississippi sharecroppers.  She looked approachable, and regal.  Sammy Davis Jr.’s jaw dropped at the sight of her; he gave her a lift in his limousine afterward.

Josephine Baker died in 1975; since then, with so many people beginning to study and think about her life, she and the story of her life have begun to grow like a monument.

A lengthy account of Josephine Baker’s life and legendary musical achievements has been given in The Washington Post.

    JOSEPHINE BAKER: LIVE IN PARIS, SINGING AVEC

    JOSEPHINE BAKER: I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT

SLIDE SHOW: JOSEPHINE BAKER/IMAGE AND ICON

(Please Click Image for Slideshow)

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Be Social:

%d bloggers like this: