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Truman Capote

Arnold A. Newman, 3 Mar 1918 - 6 Jun 2006
Truman Capote, 30 Sep 1924 - 26 Aug 1984
Gelatin silver print
Image: 20.8 × 33.6 cm (8 3/16 × 13 1/4")
Sheet: 27.7 x 35.4 cm (10 7/8 x 13 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© Arnold Newman
Object number
Exhibition Label
The enfant terrible of postwar American letters, Truman Capote escaped his hardscrabble and scarring adolescence to vault to literary prominence with his semiautobiographical Other Voices, Other Rooms (1946). A coming-of-age novel that dealt explicitly with the protagonist's homosexuality, the book gained notoriety for the jacket photograph of a boyishly sexual Capote lying on a sofa. Arnold Newman's picture mimics that pose by showing the aging Capote surrounded by the trappings of wealth and fame. Perhaps best known for Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), Capote belied his reputation as a writer of light fiction by producing In Cold Blood (1966), a tautly written account of the murder of an ordinary Kansas family. Calling the book a "nonfiction novel," Capote, along with Norman Mailer, created a new form of American journalism. Thereafter, though, Capote became enmeshed in New York's high society and published only sporadically.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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