Carl Van Vechten
View from Aileen Pringle’s Apartment, 227 East 57th St. by Carl Van Vechten
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- Artwork Info
- About the Artist
- About this Photograph
Gelatin silver print
Titled and dated, with artist stamp, in ink, au verso
Printed circa 1952
Carl Van Vechten (June 17, 1880 – December 21, 1964) gained fame as a writer, notoriety as a novelist, and in his later years took up photography and made portraits of notable people. He was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein.
Aileen Pringle was an American stage and silent-film actress. Carl Van Vechten met Pringle in the 1920s and cultivated what would become a longstanding friendship with her. By the time Van Vechten made this photograph in 1952, Pringle was retired from acting and living a privileged life on the edge of New York City’s swanky Upper East Side, earning herself the nickname, “the darling of the intelligentsia”.
This setting was Van Vechten’s milieu; associating with fashionable and influential people, documenting them and their lives, and participating in the delights available to the city’s adventurous citizens and visitors. Although known primarily for his portraits, this example of Van Vechten’s output – a view over the city he called home, snapped from a friend’s apartment – suggests that this photograph had personal significance to him.