Portrait by Gordon Parks of the photographers Morgan and Marvin Smith, both standing looking at camera, arms crossed in plaid shirts. Taken in 1946.Silver gelatin print taken by Morgan and Marvin Smith, depicting Albert Einstein looking at camera standing next to Judge Irving Lehman, who is speaking with a woman outside. Silver gelatin print of Pablo Picasso and Francoise Gilot with their children, Paloma and Claude, and poet Paul Eluard and his wife, Nusch, all seated outside, taken by Morgan and Marvin Smith in 1951.Black and white group portrait of the Nat King Cole Trio, three male figures playing their instruments smiling, taken by Morgan and Marvin Smith in 1940.Silver gelatin print of Billie Holiday seated in a gown looking off into the distance in front of a white background, taken by Morgan and Marvin Smith in 1942.Black and white portrait of the musician Fats Waller seated at a piano looking at camera smiling with a cigarette in his mouth, taken by Morgan and Marvin Smith in 1939.
"In 1933, Morgan and Marvin Smith, twin sons of sharecroppers from Kentucky, arrived in Harlem. Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, they found a flourishing arts community and quickly established their place as visual chroniclers of the life of the city. For thirty years, the Smiths used their cameras to record the achievements of blacks in the face of poverty and discrimination. Rejecting the focus on misery and hopelessness common to Harlem photographers of the time, they documented important 'firsts' for the city's blacks (the first black policeman, the first black women juror), the significant social movements of their day (anti-lynching protests, rent strikes, and early civil rights rallies), as well as the everyday life of Harlem, from churchgoers dressed for Easter to children playing in the street... Drawn from the collection of the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Smith family archives, Harlem reproduces nearly 150 photographs by these important artists and chroniclers, bringing to life a vital community of great cultural, political, and economic achievement."*

Over forty of these reproductions of significant historical portraits by the Smiths can now be found on SVA Image Library (MDID).

*Excerpt/summary from Harlem: The Vision of Morgan and Marvin Smith (University Press of Kentucky, 1998), by Morgan Smith.