May 22, 2017
May 22, 2017

Woman Standing in Doorway, East Harlem, NY

Woman Standing in Doorway, East Harlem, NY

1951, printed later

Walter Rosenblum

(American, 1919–2006)

Gelatin silver print, gold-toned

Image: 34.4 x 26.6 cm (13 9/16 x 10 1/2 in.); Paper: 35.3 x 27.1 cm (13 7/8 x 10 11/16 in.)

Gift of the Rosenblum Family 2017.85



By 1950 East Harlem, or Spanish Harlem, was home to 63,000 Puerto Ricans, along with Dominicans and other Latin Americans. Walter Rosenblum’s series on the neighborhood stemmed from his 1930s work documenting Jewish immigrant life on the Lower East Side. An insider there, he was an outsider in East Harlem, but one who could identify with these newcomers. He emphasized their human qualities, exemplified in this image of a woman standing proudly despite the cast on her leg. Rosenblum belonged to the Photo League, a group of socially concerned artists, many of whom photographed people of color and immigrants with the hope that their images would counter negative stereotyping.

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