Female Portrait Photographs by Carl Van Vechten

Carl Van Vechten (1880 – 1964) was an American writer and artistic photographer who was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein.

In the 1930s, Van Vechten began taking portrait photographs.

Among the many individuals he photographed were Josephine Baker, Tallulah Bankhead, Theda Bara, Harry Belafonte, Leonard Bernstein,  Karen Blixen, Jane Bowles, Marlon Brando, Truman Capote, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Ella Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Martha Graham, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Horst P. Horst, Mahalia Jackson, Frida Kahlo, Eartha Kitt, Henri Matisse, W. Somerset Maugham, Elsa Maxwell, Henry Miller, Joan Miró, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Diego Rivera, Gertrude Stein, James Stewart, Alfred Stieglitz, Gloria Vanderbilt, Gore Vidal, Evelyn Waugh, Orson Welles and Anna May Wong.

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Frida wearing a Tchuantepee gourd by Carl Van Vechten, 1932 via

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Tallulah Bankhead by Carl Van Vechten, 1934 via

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 Anna May Wong by Carl Van Vechten, 1935 via

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Josephine Baker by Carl Van Vechten via

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Gertrude Stein by Carl Van Vechten, 1935 via

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Lillian Gish by Carl Van Vechten, 1937 via

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Theda Bara by Carl Van Vechten, 1939 via

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Karen Blixen by Carl Van Vechten, 1959 via

Photos of the Amazing Artist Romaine Brooks

Romaine Brooks, born Beatrice Romaine Goddard (1874 – 1970), was an American painter specialized in portraiture who used a subdued palette dominated by the color gray.

She is best known for her images of women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work. Her conservative style led many art critics to dismiss her, and by the 1960s her work was largely forgotten. The revival of figurative painting since the 1980s, and new interest in the exploration of gender and sexuality through art have led to a reassessment of her work. She is now seen as a precursor of present-day artists whose works depict cross-dressing and transgender themes.

In 1902 Brooks had inheritated a huge family fortune, which granted her independence. She studied in Rome, meeting an avant-garde group of artists, writers, and intellectuals with whom she associated in Capri, Paris, and the French Riviera. Her subjects ranged from anonymous models to titled aristocrats.

She often painted people close to her, such as the Italian writer and politician Gabriele D’Annunzio, the Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein, and her partner of more than 50 years, the writer Natalie Barney.

Although she lived until 1970, she painted very little after 1925. She made a series of line drawings during the early 1930s, using an “unpremeditated” technique resembling automatic drawing, then virtually abandoned art, completing only a single portrait after World War II.

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Romaine Brooks

Romaine Brooks by Man Ray, 1925 via

Natalie Clifford Barney and Romaine Brooks via

Romaine Brooks by Man Ray, 1925 via

Romaine Brooks by Carl Van Vechten, 1935 via

 

A Collection of Photos Featuring Marie Doro

Marie Doro (b. 1882) was an American stage and film actress of the early silent film era. Like many other young ladies, she started out in the chorus in musical comedy productions. Marie Doro starred in at least 18 movies including ‘The Admirable Crichton’ in 1903, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ in 1905-06, ‘Electricity’ in 1910 and ‘Diplomacy’ in 1914. On tour of England in the mid 1900’s, she starred with the unknown teenage Charles Chaplin.

By the early 1920s Doro became increasingly disillusioned with Hollywood and her acting career. She returned to the Broadway stage one last time in 1921 with Josephine Drake in Lilies of the Field. She made two more feature films, the last of them being Sally Bishop, but left Hollywood in 1924, relocated to Europe for a time and made a number of films in Italy and the UK. Returning to the United States, she became increasingly reclusive and drawn to spiritual matters. After moving to New York City, she briefly studied at the Union Theological Seminary.

After returning to the United States, she spent the rest of her life in seclusion. She would often go on self-styled “retreats” in which she went to extremes to elude friends and acquaintances, even to the point of changing hotels four times a week.

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Marie Doro, circa 1900

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Marie Doro, circa 1900 via

Marie Doro by Bassano, 1913 via

Maria Doro via