James Van Der Zee. Couple, Harlem. 1932. Gelatin silver print, 7 1/2 x 9 5/16" (19 x 23.7 cm). Acquired through the generosity of Richard E. Salomon. © 2017 Estate of James Van der Zee. Photo: John Wronn
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 509 The David Geffen Wing

Upon his arrival in New York City in 1927, the artist José Clemente Orozco wrote to his wife, “This incredible city, part amusement park and part growing monstrosity, has changed a great deal since I was last here [eight years ago].” Orozco’s assessment speaks to the exuberant cultural transformations of New York in the Jazz Age. Dealers and patrons began to support and promote communities of avant-garde artists active across the city. Artists, intellectuals, and activists established magazines as platforms for their work and ideas. Among them was Aaron Douglas, who wrote art criticism and provided illustrations for many publications associated with the Harlem Renaissance. For those who incorporated aspects of the urban landscape into their work, like Stuart Davis and John Storrs, the city was both magnet and muse.

Artists

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