Carl Van Vechten's iconic portraits

Carl Van Vechten was a bourgeois white Midwesterner who moved to New York in the early 1900s and was transformed into a cosmopolitan booster of the Harlem Renaissance. He saw a parade of cultural figures -- writers and musicians, black and white, gay and straight -- come and go through his home. They came for the parties and conversation, but also sat as he took their portraits. These images, such as that of Zora Neale Hurston, seem to capture something special about the creative people whose work Van Vechten so believed in. Book review: "The Tastemaker"
By Carolyn Kellogg
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