Langston Hughes, always a Vintage Black Glamour favorite, was born 111 years ago today in Joplin, Missouri. This 1932 photograph was taken by his good friend, Carl Van Vechten and was eventually given as a gift by another friend, the illustrator Prentiss Taylor, to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
Romare Bearden’s “The Family,” circa 1941. A gouache with ink and graphite on brown paper. It is from the Earle Hyman Collection in memory of Rolf Sirnes, Mr. Hyman’s partner of 50 years, a promised gift to the National Gallery of Art. © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.
Harlem-born Audrey Smaltz, Miss Transit of 1954 in Jet, November 25, 1954. Ms. Smaltz would go on to be personal assistant to Eunice Johnson and eventually a commentator and producer of the Ebony Fashion Fair shows. Today, she is CEO of Ground Crew, a backstage management company for the fashion industry. In November 2011, she married her partner of 12 years, 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Gail Marquis.
Gladys Bentley on “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marx in May, 1958.
Blues singer and gay pioneer Gladys Bentley, the multi-faceted Nora Holt and illustrator Prentiss Taylor photographed by Carl Van Vechten on February 27, 1932.