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Catalog Data

Carl Van Vechten, 17 Jun 1880 - 21 Dec 1964  Search this
Zora Neale Hurston, 1891 - 28 Jan 1960  Search this
Image: 22.6 × 15 cm (8 7/8 × 5 7/8")
Sheet: 55.8 × 35.6 cm (21 15/16 × 14")
Mat: 61 × 40.7 cm (24 × 16")
1935 (printed 1983)
Exhibition Label:
Born Notasulga, Alabama
Like the protagonist in her classic 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston was shaped by her experience in Florida. She grew up in Eatonville, one of the earliest self-governed African American towns in the United States. With a degree in anthropology, she returned to the Sunshine State to document folktales for her landmark nonfiction book, Mules and Men (1935). Hurston wrote across genres, often highlighting rural, southern Black culture.
An accomplished member of the Harlem Renaissance (c. 1918–37), the period of Black creativity and thought centered in New York City, Hurston, nevertheless, passed away with little fanfare. Alice Walker, the acclaimed author of The Color Purple (1982), was inspired by Hurston and traveled to Florida. Upon finding her gravesite damaged and unmarked, Walker purchased a headstone proclaiming Hurston “A Genius of the South.”
Nacida en Notasulga, Alabama
Al igual que la protagonista de su ya clásica novela de 1937, Sus ojos miraban a Dios, Zora Neale Hurston se vio influida por sus experiencias en Florida. Creció en Eatonville, uno de los primeros pueblos afroamericanos con gobierno propio en EE.UU. Ya graduada de antropología, regresó a Florida a fin de documentar leyendas para su trascendental libro de no ficción, Mulas y hombres (1935). Hurston abordó diversos géneros, destacando la cultura rural negra del sur del país.
Pese a ser una distinguida integrante del Renacimiento de Harlem (c. 1918–37), época de auge creativo afroamericano centrado en Nueva York, la muerte de Hurston pasó si gran pompa. Alice Walker, aclamada autora de El color púrpura (1982) y admiradora de Hurston, viajó a Florida y buscó su tumba. Al encontrarla deteriorada y sin identificar, encargó una lápida que declara a Hurston “un genio del sur”.
Costume\Jewelry\Necklace  Search this
Interior  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat  Search this
Costume\Dress Accessory\Belt  Search this
Zora Neale Hurston: Female  Search this
Zora Neale Hurston: Literature\Writer\Novelist  Search this
Zora Neale Hurston: Education and Scholarship\Scholar\Folklorist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
1935 negative © Carl Van Vechten Trust
Gravure and compilation ©The Eakins Press Foundation
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
2024 Summer Rotations
On View:
NPG, West Gallery 220
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery