Synopses & Reviews
Carl Van Vechten made his first photographs as a teenager in the Midwest at the turn of the century. After a long career as a journalist, critic, novelist, and man about town in New York, Chicago, and Paris, he turned to photography full time in the 1930s, knowing many of the most interesting artists, actors, and musicians in the United States. Until his death in 1964 Van Vechten made 15,000 photographs that constitute a remarkable catalogue of the leading figures of modern arts and letters. Included in this collection are subjects as diverse as Cab Calloway and Alfred Stieglitz, George Gershwin and Gertrude Stein, Frida Kahlo and Tallulah Bankhead. The essay by Keith Davis shows Van Vechten to be a photographer of extraordinary energy and insight, one whose remarkable body of work is significant and under-recognized.