Emily Bernard starts her biography, “This book is a portrait of a once controversial figure, Carl Van Vechten, a white man with a passion for blackness.” And while today more people can recognize Carl Van Vechten as a patron and leader of the black arts and Harlem Renaissance movement, in
Read an excerpt from Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance Carl Van Vechten, the controversial patron of the Harlem Renaissance, was indeed a Renaissance man: art critic, novelist, adviser, social host and man-about-town. Yet in his role as a letter writer we see him as a passionate epistolary friend.
A sensitive discussion will ensue for anyone who names Carl Van Vechten a “father” of the Harlem Renaissance. Although married to Russian actress Fania Marinoff, Van Vechten never had children. Nevertheless, he was a patron and active supporter of many young artists and writers, including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston,
In her second piece for “Eminent Biography” Emily Bernard, author of Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance: A Portrait in Black and White, explores the relationships of Carl Van Vechten and the many women who circled through his interracial and inter-artistic world of the Harlem Renaissance. After all, it is
The friendships that formed the conversations of the Harlem Renaissance and the complex ideas of the relationships between art and race were the vein of black literary life of the early twentieth century. As editor of the volume of letters, Remember Me to Harlem: The Correspondence of Langston Hughes and