Carl Van Vechten was born on June 17, 1880 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His name might not mean anything to you, but if you read his biography by clicking on the link of his name in the first paragraph you learn how he eventually turned to photography and promoting African-American artists. “Some of his subjects from this period include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Alfred A. Knopf, Bessie Smith, and Gertrude Stein.”

Surfing around this site took me a few minutes to find where you could look at his artwork, but after diligently searching it out I found it. Then I realized it was really very simple you can do a search by keyword, browse the Subject Index, or browse the Occupational Index.

This site is not kidding you when they say that they have over 1,000 pictures that Van Vechten took. You can view everything from abandoned buildings to the greatest stars of his time. (To see the building you need to choose the Subject Index.) In the Subject Index you will also find images of locations. I choose to view the list for United States and saw some really nice historic images of different locations.

You’ll probably love the images of the stars of the 30’s and 40’s, I know I did. The best way to view these is to choose the Occupational Index. You’ll notice that the listing is by job title so if you are looking for an actor or actress you should choose A — Actors, African-American Leaders, Artists, and Authors. Here you’ll find Earl Jones, Mary Martin, Laurence Olivier, and even Orson Welles. You’ll find a great lot of historical images under African-American leaders too like W.E.B. DuBois.

You should take your time browsing and exploring as there is a lot of different galleries to cover.