“Four Children at Lenox Avenue, Harlem, NY” by Dawoud Bey: November Collection Highlight

High Museum of Art
Nov 12 · 2 min read

Watch as two Mellon Curatorial Fellows discuss how Bey depicted a legacy of Black sophistication and culture in Harlem.

Video by Ashley Wills

Since the beginning of his career in the 1970s, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) has used his camera to create poignant meditations on visibility, race, place, and American history.

Image for post
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Dawoud Bey. Photo credit: Sean Kelly Gallery

The exhibition Dawoud Bey: An American Project, on view now at the High Museum of Art, traces these through lines across the forty-five years of Bey’s career and his profound engagement with the young Black subject and African American history.

In the short film above, Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows, Kayla Gaskin (Emory University, Class of 2020) and Taylor Roberts (Oglethorpe University, Class of 2021) discuss Bey’s Four Children at Lenox Avenue, Harlem, NY.

Their conversation also addresses the influence of photographer James Van Der Zee and his photographs of stylish, sophisticated Harlemites during the Harlem Renaissance.

Black and white photograph of four children getting ready to head to school.
Black and white photograph of four children getting ready to head to school.
Black and white photograph of a black couple in 1920s Harlem wearing long fur coats as they enter their stylish automobile.
Black and white photograph of a black couple in 1920s Harlem wearing long fur coats as they enter their stylish automobile.

Dawoud Bey: An American Project is co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and is on view at the High through March 14, 2021.

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