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Florine Stettheimer
Carl Van Vechten
Oil on canvas
35.75 x 31.5 inches
Carl Van Vechten Papers

In addition to portraits of her sisters Carrie and Ettie, Florine Stettheimer painted portraits of many of her friends, including Henry McBride, Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Stieglitz, and this painting of writer, photographer, critic, and collector Carl Van Vechten. The portrait is filled with images representing Van Vechten’s life and work, including a pile of his own books on the floor acting as a perch for a favorite cat (Van Vechten’s book about cats, The Tiger in the House, is the second book in the stack), an immense book collection behind him, a piano representing his music criticism, his wife’s dressing table — a shrine-like arrangement of images representing Fania Marinoff, including a rug bearing her name laid before the table and a theatrical mask of her face hanging on the wall above it. Stettheimer cleverly signed the painting by spelling out her name in the keys on the typewriter beside her subject.

For a closer look at Carl Van Vechten, visit Beinecke Library's Digital Images Database.

galspace.gif Florine Stettheimer


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