Lot of 4 real photo postcards of Harry Belafonte (b. 1927). Carl Van Vechten: New York, n.d., ca 1947. Van Vechten's blind-stamp imprint. Photographic series with the King of Calypso in candid and charming poses. In one he holds a ceramic chicken against a patterned backdrop. Another features him pulling a rope while barefoot.
Carl Van Vechten was well-connected to the people and places of the Harlem Renaissance at a time when racial segregation and Jim Crow laws were intense. Throughout the 1920s, he indulged in the parties and social scene of New York's black creative class, which he captured in his provocatively titled novel Nigger Heaven. When the Depression came, he stopped writing novels and began taking photographs, most notably of influential African Americans, taking iconic portraits of thought leaders, entertainment stars, sports figures, artists, writers of the Harlem Renaissance, and more. His collection of over 9000 images, mostly portraits, is held at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
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