VAN VECHTEN, Carl. Excavations: A Book of Advocacies
Alfred A. Knopf, 1926. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Fair. 1st Edition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926. First Edition. Octavo (7.75" x 5.5"). [xii], 285p. SIGNED by the author with Christmas gift inscription to Algonquin Hotel owner Frank Case and his Wife Bertha, with Case's bookplate on front pastedown. Printed blue dustjacket; book in blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Dustjacket is in sections with back and spine missing. Remainder is chipped along edges with a few small tears, along with some creasing and toning. Boards square with some darkening to spine and along edges and tugging/bumping to head and tail. Opens easily to between gatherings but binding is holding soundly. Pages a bit toned but unmarked.
As a young hotel manager, Frank Case convinced Albert Foster to change his hotel's name from the Puritain to the Algonquin. Years later he bought the place, and when writers, actors, and critics such as Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx, Ruth Hale, and Robert Benchley began showing up for lunch, it was Case who moved them to the more prominent Rose Room and their now famous "Round Table." Van Vechten was also active in the New York arts scene as a patron and promoter of the Harlem Renaissance, famously hosting racially mixed cocktail parties at which, according to biographer Emily Bernard, "powerful whites were able to meet black artists on the most intimate terms."