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Carl Van Vechten photographs

Identifier: 55.MWalB02687PROD

Scope and Contents

Carl Van Vechten photographed many of the major artists and intellectuals of the first half of the 20th century. The importance of these images is twofold; they document a specific time and milieu in 20th-century American history that was neglected by others and they are among some of the earliest art photography images created. While Van Vechten never created images as technically complex as some of the professional photographers of his day, a consistent artistic sensibility pervades his work. In particular, his portraits of influential African-Americans illustrate a rich artistic and intellectual era in the African-American community. There are 1689 black and white photographs in the collection. While Van Vechten gave photographic collections to several universities and libraries, each one varies in scope.


  • 1932-1964


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Request to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.


1689.00 Photographs

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in 46 boxes, with photographs arranged in folders alphabetically by the last name of the subject.

Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Carl Van Vechten Estate

Carl Van Vechten PRODUCTION 55.MWalB02687PROD
Katherine A. Morley
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections