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Carl Van Vechten [Cirque Medrano, Fratellini]

Autographed Photograph

1129643-1

$295.00$236 - Product is currently out of stock.

Carl Van Vechten, (June 17, 1880 – December 21, 1964) original autographed print/'real photo post card' with inscription to partner Saul Mauriber dated 6/2/1950. The original photo features one of the famous Fratellini family from the The Cirque Medrano in Paris.

Van Vechten, the celebrated American writer and photographer, was the literary executor of Gertrude Stein and a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance movement. He captured iconic images of all the key members in the worlds of Art, Theater, Music, and Literature. Van Vechten viewed his photography as a hobby; he never took commissions, he never sold photographs. He would grant permission to publish them, but had strict requirements to do so. He was a prominent fixture in 20th century photography collections with his work being included in such institutions as The Library of Congress, The Museum of The City of New York and The Smithsonian Institution.

The Cirque Medrano (in English: Circus Medrano) is a French circus, that was located at 63 Boulevard Rochechouart, at the corner of rue des Martyrs, on the edge of Montmartre in Paris. It was originally called Cirque Fernando. The circus is now a traveling circus touring across the world. Medrano Circus started in Toulouse where many famous modern artists got their inspiration for the work to come. Everyone fled to Europe when the saw the amazing culture that the circus created in the late 19th century. The family Cirque Fernando was linked to the British travelling circus family Robert Austen Brothers. This link led to Cirque Fernando changing its name and becoming a European traveling circus. The name Robert Austens Mediterrean Circus became Medrano. Medrano was also the name of a Spanish clown employed at the Cirque Fernando in Paris. Past performers have included Buster Keaton together with his wife Eleanor as a double act between 1947 and 1954, Annie Fratellini, and Arthur Vercoe Pedlar. American actor Billy Beck was the only American to be regularly employed at Medrano as a clown in the early 1950's.

This vintage Van Vechten image, personally signed "Carlo" features the inscription: "Dear Saul, this is one of the Fratellini's being helped into the ring at the Cirque Medrano (Paris) by the ring master / Monday," unique printed post card graphics  and postage cancelation on its verso. Embossed on its front side, bottom right of center is a "Photograph by Carl Van Vechten" original 'blind' stamp. The photograph measuring approximately 3.5 x 5.5 inches, printed on a thick weight matte stock, is in fine condition aside from some minor age wear.

 

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TAGS: Harlem Renaissance, France, Vintage Circus Photography

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