Collection of 16 portrait photographs, including authors, Harlem Renaissance figures, actors, artists, and architects

N.p. N.p., circa 1930s - 1950s. Collection of 16 black-and-white portrait photographs by Carl Van Vechten, printed on card stock, many as postcards, all but three with his blindstamp to the lower portion. Six of the photos contain the subjects' names in holograph ink on the verso, two of which are also dated, with a seventh photo was used as a postcard, with a franked stamp and a holograph notation by Van Vechten, dated March 21, 1959, on the verso.

After switching from writing to photography in the 1930s, Van Vechten became one the leading photographers of the era, taking portraits of many actors, artists, writers, and musicians. Among his hundreds of subjects were Thornton Wilder (with "in The Skin of Your Teeth" on the verso, in character as Mr. Antrobus), Ruth Ford (in a dress by Pierre Balmain), Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Channing, architect Philip Johnson, impresario/art connoisseur Lincoln Kirstein, and potter Grace Barnsley (here under her married name, Emily Davies, and dated "Paris, 1930"), all present in this collection.

Van Vechten was also interested in African-American music and literature, and was an early supporter of the Harlem Renaissance. This collection includes four photos of Ethel Waters as Hagar from 1939 Broadway premiere of "Mamba's Daughters," and photos of choreographer/actor/dancer Geoffrey Holder, Harry Belafonte, actress/singer Bertice Reading, and writer Owen Dodson, who has briefly inscribed his photo on the recto.

Grace Barnsley photo 4.5 x 5.75 inches, Ethel Waters photos 5 x 7 inches (13 x 18 cm), remaining photos 3.5 x 5.5 inches. Near Fine, with a couple of photos showing shallow creases.

Complete details available on request.


[Book #131490]

Price: $4,500.00