The James VanDerZee Studio is a portrait showcase of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, who operated a portrait studio at various locations in Harlem from 1916 to 1969. He is best known for his portraits of leaders and popular figures such as Marcus Garvey, Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, but the bulk of his living came from his portraits of the local community's middle class. Black-and-white photographs, some of them gel-tinted, show his finest work in capturing human energy and spirit, and the thoughtful text rounds out this brief yet entrancing survey of a passionated and dedicated professional's life work.
I was very disappointed with this book. Having encountered Vanderzee's images in another title, as well as in an exhibition at the International Photography Center, I expected to find more than just a handful of pictures, about twenty images. This book is like watching the commercial to an epic movie, it only stands to inspire one to go out and purchase a more indepth title. This would make a good gift to a budding photographer, or creative type. But for my personal collection, Im looking into buying another title to fully appreciate Vanderzee's images.