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Carl Van Vechten
(1880 - 1964) U.S.A.

Carl Van Vechten

Writer, critic and photographer

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Carl Van VechtenBorn in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where his father co-founde a school for African American childre. Van Vechten graduated from the University of Chicago (1903), and became assistant music critic for the New York Times and dramatic critic for the New York Press. With wit, urbanity, watered aesthetics, and an agile pen, he described the manners and mannerisms of his era's decadent elegance.

He helped countless African-American writers publish their work, and made a substantial contribution to the vancement of black scholarhip. He was editor of Gertrude Stein's posthumously published books.

Although he was married to the Russian actress Fania Marinoff, his trips to Harlem were frequently in the company of "handsome black call boys". For him, Harlem was a liberating space where, even during the proibition years, he could drink freely and be open about his homosexuality.

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His work include:

  • Peter Whiffle (1922)
  • The Blind Bow-Boy (1923)
  • The Tattooed Countess (1924)
  • Firecrackers (1925)
  • Red (1925)
  • Excavations (1926)
  • Nigger Heaven (1926)
  • Spider Boy (1928)
  • Parties (1930)
  • Sacred and Profane memories (1932)
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