Blake Oetting '18, Art History

"Rhetorical Bodies: Ambivalence in the Portraiture of Carl Van Vechten"

My senior thesis focuses on Carl Van Vechten's photography. I argue that ambivalence is a productive way to approach his work's engagement with American modernism, focusing on three debates emerging in New York City at the time: racialized space, the construction of the African-American artist, and photography's social vs. aesthetic role.