Woman Walking, Above, New York

Roy DeCarava American

Not on view

DeCarava emerged in the 1950s as one of the most important visual artists in the African American community. His groundbreaking book "The Sweet Flypaper of Life" (1955), with text by Langston Hughes, is a poignant study of street life in Harlem. Like James Agee and Walker Evans’s "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" (1941), it is a landmark collaboration between a writer and a photographer. Hughes’s text—a rambling story about a Harlem grandmother and her children and grandchildren—flows around, and comments on, DeCarava’s photographs. In this scene, made from an apartment window, an elegantly dressed woman strides down the sidewalk and gazes across a cobblestone street; Hughes’s text reads, “Well, where she lives they got an elevator. Pretty streets, clean, it’s on the hill.”

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