Nella Larsen photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1934. I think about her a lot, every day.
I don’t love Van Vechten as a writer or as a guy, from what the historical record tells me about him as a guy, but I sure appreciate his portraits. The Beinecke library at Yale has archived his photographs of iconic female artists and writers from the early-to-mid-twentieth century— Tallulah Bankhead, Djuna Barnes, Emma Goldman, Billie Holliday, Eartha Kitt, Carson McCullers, so so many more— here.
So maybe I love him as a curator of womanhood?