Carl Van Vechten
A matt silver print on stiff, double-weight paper showing the American dancer Tom Kemp.
Photographed by Carl Van Vechten.
The American writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten (1880-1864) was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein. He gained fame as a writer, and notoriety as well, for his novel Nigger Heaven, first published in 1926, which portrayed life in Harlem. In his later years, he took up photography and made portraits of many notable figures in the arts. Although he married two women, Van Vechten engaged in numerous homosexual affairs throughout his life.
The photographer is identified by his wetstamp on the reverse of the print. The sitter is identified by an inscription pencilled above the photographer’s wetstamp. Although undated here, the photograph was taken in 1948.
Dimensions: the print, which is unmounted and has no borders, measures 9.5” by 7.1” (242 mm by 182 mm).