Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg
by Sarah Greenough (9783791350523)

Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg
Sarah Greenough
Release Date: 20 July 2010
Format: Hardback
Pages: 144
Category: Photography & Photographs
Publisher: Prestel
ISBN: 9783791350523
ISBN-10: 3791350528

The celebrated American poet Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) began photographing in the late 1940s when he purchased a small, second-hand Kodak camera. For the next fifteen years he made intimate and often exuberant portraits of himself, his friends, and lovers, including the writers and poets Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Gregory Corso as well as Beat personality Neal Cassady. He abandoned photography in 1963 and took it up again in the 1980s, when he was encouraged by photographers Berenice Abbott and Robert Frank to reprint his earlier work and make new portraits; these included more images of long-time friends as well as other acquaintances such as painters Larry Rivers and Francesco Clemente and musician Bob Dylan. Ginsberg's photographs form a compelling portrait of the Beat and counterculture generation from the 1950s to the 1990s, tracing their arch from youthful men to aging, often spent, figures. Far more historical documents, his photographs and the extensive inscriptions he added to them years later preserve what he referred to as "the sacredness of the moment", the often joyous communion of friends and the poignancy of looking back to intensely felt times. More than seventy prints, including a few "drugstore" prints made in the early 1950s, are brilliantly reproduced in this book, accompanied by Sarah Greenough's essay on Ginsberg's photography in relation to his poetry and other photographers of the time, a chronology of his photographic activity, and selections from interviews with Ginsberg between 1958 and 1996. AUTHOR: Sarah Greenough is senior curator and head of the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art. She is the author of Looking In: Robert Frank's: 'The Americans' and numerous other publications on photography. SELLING POINTS: ? Now available in paperback, this intimate "family album" is a revealing photographic look at the Beat Generation as chronicled by the movement's great poet, Allen Ginsberg. 70 tritones, 30 duotones, 5 colour images

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