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Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! de…
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Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! (edição: 2017)

de Andrea J. Loney (Autor), Keith Mallett (Ilustrador)

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"A biography of James Van Der Zee, innovative and celebrated African American photographer of the Harlem Renaissance. Includes an afterword, photos, and author's sources"--Publisher.
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Exibindo 4 de 4
nonfiction- complete biography

This book is about James Van Der Zee, who was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken by a black man, James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill Bojangles Robinson, and Mamie Smith.

I chose this book because it showed how his passion was able to change his life. I think students finding something they're passionate about is important when growing up. This man used photography to motivate him like I used dance to motivate me growing up. ( )
  KelcieBailey | Nov 16, 2020 |
Great story!! No, FANTASTIC story!! ( )
  melodyreads | Feb 15, 2018 |
This picture book provides a biography of James Van Der Zee, a groundbreaking photographer born in Lenox, Massachusetts in 1886. James wanted a camera from an early age, and worked hard to afford one.

He became only the second person in Lenox to own one. He started taking pictures, and soon everyone in town was saying “Take a picture of me, James Van Der Zee!”

At age 18, James moved his photography business to Harlem, where he eventually opened his own studio. All the big names of the Harlem Renaissance came to him for their portraits. But as time went on, eventually most people got their own cameras, and James’s business declined.

He adapted by starting a business to restore old photographs. In addition, his collection of photos was used by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a visual history of Harlem. This exhibit brought him new clients, with people once again coming to him and saying “Take a picture of me, James Van Der Zee!”

An Afterword by the author gives more background on VanDerZee and also includes examples of some of his work. As she explains:

“James Van Der Zee saw himself as an artist first, then a photographer. He was a master at transforming simple photographs into elaborate works of art.”

During his life Van Der Zee took more than 75,000 photographs: “Each image shared an extraordinary story about the people of Harlem….” He died in 1983 at the age of ninety-six.

The author also includes a small bibliography and suggestions for further reading.

Illustrator Keith Mallett employs rich acrylic paintings that reflect his dedication to historical accuracy in the smallest details, such as styles of clothing and the way iconic buildings in Harlem would have looked when VanDerZee was there. You can also find a great collection of VanDerZee's photographs here.

Evaluation: The prose in this book is not all that exciting, but the story is compelling nevertheless. The author does manage to convey a sense of Van Der Zee’s dedication to artistic quality and persistence. The striking pictures will help spark reader interest in the narrative. ( )
  nbmars | Jan 20, 2018 |
A beautifully written and illustrated story of James VanDerZee, noted photographer of the Harlem Renaissance and of everyday, middle-class African-Americans of the time. An inspiring story that brings to life a lesser known artist of the Harlem Renaissance. ( )
  sylliu | Aug 1, 2017 |
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"A biography of James Van Der Zee, innovative and celebrated African American photographer of the Harlem Renaissance. Includes an afterword, photos, and author's sources"--Publisher.

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