Published by Reel Art Press. Edited by Tony Nourmand, Michael Shulman. Essay by Jack Kerouac.
Unseen images of the Beats, including many—uniquely—in color
This magnificent volume features a remarkable collection of largely unseen photographs of the Beat Generation by renowned Magnum photographer Burt Glinn. This amazing, untouched treasure trove of images was discovered when Reel Art Press was working with Burt Glinn’s widow, Elena, on a larger retrospective of Glinn’s work. Archived with the negatives was a short essay by Jack Kerouac entitled "And This Is The Beat Nightlife of New York," which is published here alongside the photographs. The book features black-and-white shots, and also—uniquely, for images of this era—more than 70 in color. An extremely rare find, these photographs capture the raw energy of the Beat Generation in a way that has never been seen before in print.
The photographs were shot between 1957 and 1960 in New York and San Francisco and feature nearly everyone involved in the scene, including writers and artists such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, LeRoi Jones, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick and many more. Glinn was celebrated for his extraordinary talent as a social documentary photographer, and during his time with the Beats his camera captured the spirit of the counterculture—writers, musicians and artists meeting in cafes, bars and parties pursuing a truth and future the mainstream would and could not acknowledge.
This exquisite tome is an intimate and fresh insight into the lives of the legendary and influential bohemians and a celebration of Glinn’s inimitable talent.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Burt Glinn (1935–2008) was an American professional photographer who worked with Magnum Photos. He covered revolutionary leader Fidel Castro’s entrance into Havana, Cuba, and photographed people such as Andy Warhol and Helen Frankenthaler. In collaboration with the writer Laurens van der Post, Glinn published A Portrait of All the Russias (1967) and A Portrait of Japan (1968).
Published by Reel Art Press. Edited by Michael Shulman, Tony Nourmand. Photographs by Burt Glinn.
New Year’s Eve, 1958, 10pm: Magnum photographer Burt Glinn is at a black-tie party in New York when he hears news that dictator Fulgencio Batista has fled Cuba. By 7 am the next morning, he is in Havana in a cab, telling the driver: "take me to the revolution." Such photojournalistic fervor allowed Glinn to be in the middle of the action to capture the Cuban Revolution as it unfolded on the ground. As Glinn said, “I could get up as close as I wanted.” His magnificent photographs convey the revolutionary idealism, mayhem and excitement of that moment in history. This volume includes some of Glinn’s most iconic Cuban photographs, as well as unseen shots, in both black and white and color, from gunshots being fired, confusion on the streets, the rounding up of the Batista Secret Police, spontaneous gatherings, embracing revolutionaries returning home to mothers, and, of course, Fidel Castro’s triumphant entrance into Havana. Glinn is famously quoted as saying, “I think that what you’ve got to do is discover the essential truth of the situation, and have a point of view about it.” This tome celebrates his ability to do just that. Burt Glinn (1925–2008) was an award-winning photographer with a career spanning more than fifty years. He was versatile, technically brilliant and a legend in his own lifetime. Self taught, Glinn first worked for Life magazine in the late 1940s before going freelance. He joined Magnum Photos in 1951--one of the first Americans to do so--eventually serving as its president in the 1970s and again in the 1980s. Glinn embraced color photography as well as black and white, establishing his reputation with a spectacular color series on the South Seas, Japan, Russia, Mexico and California. He went on to capture crucial moments in history, including the Sinai War in 1956, the US Marine invasion of Lebanon in 1958, the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. He offered searing insight with his social documentary photography, including a collection of unseen, soon to be published images of the Beat Generation. He was renowned for his iconic portraits of celebrities such as Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Taylor and was a highly successful commercial photographer. In 1981, Glinn married Elena Prohaska and their son Samuel Pierson Glinn was born in 1982.