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Lot 451
STEIN, GERTRUDE (1874-1946, American novelist and poet) PORTRAIT BY CARL VAN VECHTEN, 1948 [taken 1934-1935]; THREE PORTRAITS OF GERTRUDE STEIN AND ALICE TOLKAS BY UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHERS, [1910, 1917 and 1920s, printed later]
Sold for £562 (US$ 882) inc. premium

Lot Details
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STEIN, GERTRUDE (1874-1946, American novelist and poet)
(i) PORTRAIT BY CARL VAN VECHTEN (1889-1964), photograph issued as a postcard with Van Vechten's name blind-stamped in relief, head and shoulders, in profile facing right, WITH AN AUTOGRAPH NOTE BY VAN VECHTEN ON THE VERSO, to Murray Morrison, dated from New York, 10 May 1948: 'If you have time to stop by before you leave, telephone me EN 2-8748 -- I have discovered a very small gift for Miss Toklas that I'd be happy to have you take to her. Sincerely Carl Van Vechten Monday', with a postage stamp and postal markings, framed and glazed, size of image 5 ½ x 3 ½ inches ( 14 x 9 cm), overall size 13 x 13 inches (34 x 33 cm), postcard dated 1948 [taken 1934-1935]

Van Vechten was a good friend and literary executor of Gertrude Stein and wrote articles about her and Alice Tolkas. This is one of her best known images of her.

(ii) THREE PORTRAITS OF GERTRUDE STEIN AND ALICE TOLKAS BY UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHERS, photographs, probably printed later (one made into a postcard), showing them with their car and in front of the Basilica in St Mark's Square in Venice with the pigeons, framed together, each image 6 ½ x 4 inches (17 x 10 cm), overall size 12 x 19 inches (31 x 49 cm), [1910, 1917 and 1920s, printed later]

'HONEYMOON PHOTOGRAPH' (centre, 1910). 'To celebrate, they departed Fiesole for Venice, where like newlyweds they had photographs of themselves taken among the plump pigeons in the piazza San Marco. In one of these pictures, Gertrude sports a large, lavishly trimmed hat, and Alice, an elegant small purse draped from her shoulder, wears a slim paisley dress, long beads, and a compact turban...The first public signature of their relationship...They were married, they said...' (Wineapple). These prints were sent to Murray Morrison by Van Vechten; the envelope in Van Vechten's hand-writing and with the note 'Photographs Do Not Bend' is included in the lot.

REFERENCES: Brenda Wineapple, Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein, 1996; Gertrude Stein, edited by Renate Stendhal, 1994.

Saleroom notices

  • This lot is incorrectly labelled 'AR' in the printed catalogue and is not subject to Artists' Resale Right.
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