Carl Van Vechten(1880-1964), Critic, novelist and photographer
Artist of 17 portraits
An American essayist and novelist of Peter Whiffle: His Life and Works (1922) and the controversial Nigger Heaven (1926), Van Vechten only took up photography in 1932, aged 51, aiming to portray all the leading creative talent of his era. He worked in a makeshift studio apartment with a Leica, using painted backdrops inspired by Matisse and took over 15,000 photographs between 1932 and 1964. A champion of African American culture and promoter of key players in the Harlem Renaissance, Van Vechten created an important visual record of the major cultural figures of his time.
by Carl Van Vechten
vintage gelatin silver print, 28 May 1934