Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Timeline
Timeline Home Page
home
The Postwar United States
Arts and Entertainment, 1945-1968
The Art of Portrait Photography

Through their work, portrait photographers try to portray some truth about the people being photographed. Carl Van Vechten took portrait photographs for more than 30 years. Many of his works are presented in Creative Americans: Portraits by Van Vechten, 1932-1964. Below are several photographs of three performing artists of the post-World War II era. Examine the photographs carefully. What clues to these artists' personalities and work do these photographs give? How do costumes and props add to or detract from the photographs? Which photograph of each artist do you prefer? Why? Find out more about each of these artists. Does your new knowledge change your response to the pictures? Why or why not?

Click on each picture for a larger image. View additional photographs from Creative Americans: Portraits by Van Vechten, 1932-1964. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.


Billie Holliday

Billie Holliday, 1949

Billie Holliday

Billie Holliday, 1949

Billie Holliday

Billie Holliday, 1949

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck, 1954

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck, 1954

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, 1954

Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey, 1955

Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey, 1955

Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey, 1955


top of page


Click on each picture for a larger image. View additional photographs from Van Vechten Collection . Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.

previous Great Depression and World War II | Postwar United States