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Gertrude Stein

Carl Van Vechten, 17 Jun 1880 - 21 Dec 1964
Gertrude Stein, 3 Feb 1874 - 27 Jul 1946
November 4, 1934
Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 25.4 x 20.3cm (10 x 8")
Credit Line
Owner: Philadelphia Museum of Art
This record is part of the Catalog of American Portraits, a research archive of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Please direct any inquiries to the portrait owner (if available under Credit Line) or For inquiries concerning the reproduction of images, contact the Rights and Reproductions Office of the owning institution. Images of portraits in private collections may not be reproduced without permission of the owner. The Catalog of American Portraits does not maintain current contact information for these individuals.
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Exhibition Label
In focusing his lens on the severe hairline at the back of Stein’s head, Carl Van Vechten expressed the public’s fascination with her coiffure. Although it was not strange to see a young woman with bobbed hair in the years between the wars, it was rare to see such a radical cut on a woman over fifty. Stein, moreover, wore blouses, vests, and skirts, often made of heavy fabric, with her bob, not the flapper dresses or pajama-style pants favored by young women. (Stein never wore trousers.) By combining her imperial cut with a tweed vest—or as here, a plain velvet gown—Stein made her self-fashioning distinctive. Artists, friends, and journalists strained to describe her late-life appearance, commonly falling back on analogies to classical sculpture, in particular, busts of Julius Caesar.
Data Source
Catalog of American Portraits
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Catalog of American Portraits