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Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964), Critic, novelist and photographer

Artist of 13 portraits
American essayist and novelist of Nigger Heaven (1926); took up photography in 1932, aged 51, aiming to portray all the leading creative talent of his era. Worked in makeshift studio apartment with a Leica, using painted backdrops inspired by Matisse, took over 15,000 photographs (1932-64).

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P1125

Edward McKnight Kauffer

by Carl Van Vechten
vintage gelatin silver print, 27 May 1934
NPG P1125

P1127

Dame Rebecca West (Cicily Isabel Andrews (née Fairfield))

by Carl Van Vechten
vintage gelatin silver print, 28 May 1934
NPG P1127

P504

John Gielgud

by Carl Van Vechten
vintage print, 1936
NPG P504

P1124

Dame Myra Hess

by Carl Van Vechten
vintage gelatin silver print, 5 April 1937
NPG P1124

P1126

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Carl Van Vechten
vintage gelatin silver print, 17 June 1939
NPG P1126

x131693

Elisabeth Welch

by Carl Van Vechten
cream-toned bromide print, 14 January 1933
NPG x131693

x131694

Elisabeth Welch

by Carl Van Vechten
cream-toned bromide print, 14 January 1933
NPG x131694

x131695

Elisabeth Welch

by Carl Van Vechten
cream-toned bromide print, 14 January 1933
NPG x131695

x135982

William Somerset Maugham

by Carl Van Vechten
cream-toned bromide print, 26 May 1934
NPG x135982

x40474

Cecil Beaton

by Carl Van Vechten
vintage bromide print, late 1930s
NPG x40474

x40473

Cecil Beaton

by Carl Van Vechten
vintage bromide print, late 1930s
NPG x40473

x131783

Christopher Isherwood

by Carl Van Vechten
chlorobromide print, 7 December 1951
NPG x131783

x194361

Patricia Neal; Roald Dahl

by Carl Van Vechten
bromide press print, 20 April 1954
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG x194361

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