Aug 19, 2021 - Sale 2578

Sale 2578 - Lot 29

Price Realized: $ 875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200

CARL VAN VECHTEN (1880-1964)

Nelson Barclift (This is the Army).
Silver print, the image measuring 250.8x203.2 mm; 9 7/8x8 inches, with Van Vechten's copyright hand stamp, and the title, in pencil, on verso. 1942.

Additional Details

Nelson Barclift was a member of the US Army's Theatre Section during World War II. This image is from Irving Berlin's "This is the Army," which was written to boost morale and was shown on Broadway, cast entirely of members of the armed forces, to benefit the Army Emergency Relief Fund. Barclift was the co-choreographer and principal dancer for the musical. Though the musical was certainly problematic for its portrayal of stereotypes and inclusion of blackface, the unit that presented the performance off-Broadway was integrated, making it the first instance of racial integration in the armed forces (though it was still segregated when it came to on-stage performance). Additionally, almost every number in the musical included men in drag.