Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Carl van Vechten

Carl van Vechten began his professional life as a writer and critic, but he gave that up to take up photography.  Describing himself as an amateur, he was a major figure in the Harlen Renaissance and the early stages of the Civil Rights movement.  He managed all that by living off his family family fortune as the son of a prominent and wealthy banker.  We start the series with a photo of dancer Allen Meadows, who will appear again later in the set.



  1. So long ago when I came across a little novel called “N-word Heaven” with a contribution by Lanston Hughes I never made the connection that the author was the photographer and had caused quite a stir with the book when it came out. And many of his friends (black and white) had tried to get him not to use “that word” in the title. Of course he did not listen. It made sure the book got noticed. But he mainly did portrait photography after that. Oh yes, and went to lots of parties.

    1. At that point in our history, people (even some white liberals and some black intellectuals) needed shock therapy on the issue of race.

  2. Nice model. For whatever reasons seems modern for that time period.