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James Van Der Zee’s Family Portraits: A Dialogue with Dr. Drew Sawyer and Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee

James Van Der Zee is one of the most iconic photographers of the 20th century. ArtsWestchester’s “Modern Families” exhibition is anchored by a collection of his rarely exhibited photographs. This event provides the opportunity to delve deeper into his photographic practice, its historical context and his legacy in a lively discussion with Drew Sawyer and Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee.


About the participants:


Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee is the wife of the late James Van Der Zee and steward of his estate. Her knowledge of Van Der Zee’s work and life inside and outside of the studio is invaluable.




Drew Sawyer holds a PhD in Art History from Columbia University, specializing in North American art and visual culture of the 19th and 20th centuries. He is currently the Brooklyn Museum’s Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography. He is a co-organizer of the upcoming historical survey, Art after Stonewall, 1969 to 1989, which will tour in 2019. Dr. Sawyer served as the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 2012 to 2015. His most recent exhibition, Family Pictures, explored the legacy of Roy DeCarava’s 1955 book The Sweet Flypaper of Life, and included works by LaToya Ruby Frazier, Deana Lawson, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems.


This program is funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.




Event Location and Ticket Information

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31 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY 10601
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019
Times: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event
Get tickets now

Presenter: ArtsWestchester
Presenter Phone: 914-428-4220
Presenter Website: www.artswestchester.org