As of Tuesday, September 8, The New York Public Library has expanded grab-and-go service to 50 branch locations as part of our gradual reopening. We hope to reopen even more locations soon. Find details about locations, services, and requirements, and learn more about accessing our remote resources.


Carl Van Vechten Slides

Collection Data

The Carl Van Vechten Slides collection contains approximately 2,800 color slides of dancers (primarily ballet) photographed by Carl Van Vechten in his studio, from 1940 to 1964.
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964 (Creator)
Mauriber, Saul (Creator)
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964 (Photographer)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1940 - 1964
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZKA 14-6754
African American dancers
Ballet dancers
Dance -- United States -- 20th century -- Slides
Biographical/historical: Author, critic and photographer Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964) was born to a wealthy family in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He moved to New York City in 1906 and worked as a music critic for The New York Times and later became its first modern dance critic. Van Vechten also photographed many African-American artists and performers, as well as ethnic dancers. He died in his sleep in New York City at age 84.
Content: The Carl Van Vechten Slides collection contains approximately 2,800 mounted color slides, mostly of dancers (primarily ballet), photographed by Carl Van Vechten in his studio, from 1940 to 1964. Some modern, African-American, ethnic dancers, and choreographers are also included. Dancers are usually dressed in costumes from ballets or other dances, but costumes were sometimes improvised or devised by Van Vechten. There are also some frontispieces, such as posters, still life objects and outdoor scenes. A few performers and choreographers in the collection include Agnes de Mille, Anton Dolin, Katherine Dunham, Martha Graham, Nora Kaye, Hugh Laing, Avon Long, Alicia Markova, Pearl Primus, Ni Gusti Raka, Bill Robinson, Donald Saddler, Paul Taylor, and Carmen Vasquez. Costume designer Barbara Karinska, impresario Lincoln Kirstein and lighting designer Jean Rosenthal are also among Van Vechten's subjects. Slides of Violette Verdy were photographed by Saul Mauriber, Van Vechten's assistant.
Physical Description
Extent: 2,800 slides (5 boxes) : col. ; 5 x 5 cm
Color slides
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20915137
MSS Unit ID: 23255
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): de8b3b60-c284-0135-01bc-33751ccfcc26
Show filters Hide filters
5,396 results found