Allen Ginsberg: Photographs
Signed by Allen Ginsberg and dated 8/29/1991, San Francisco.
First Edition; one of 5,000 casebound copies.
132 pages, including 92 sheet-fed gravure plates.
Fine condition with clean dust jacket and belly band (see rear photo).
Photographs copyright 1990 Allen Ginsberg.
Published by Twelvetrees Press, printed and bound in Japan by Toppan Printing Company, Tokyo.
Includes an introduction by Robert Frank.
Allen Ginsberg bought his first box camera in 1945 (maybe ’46), and began photographing the friends he had met a year or so earlier—William Burroughs and his wife Joan Vollmer, Hal Chase, Jack Kerouac, and Herbert Huncke (among Ginsberg’s oldest surviving photos is of a shirtless Huncke wearing a straw hat, taken on Burroughs’ West Texas marijuana farm). But as he recalls, it wasn’t until 1953 that he began to take photography more seriously, but even still, he insisted “My interest in pictures was more sacramental than photographic. I didn’t see myself as a recorder of events or as being involved in a continuous reportage.”
To look back at the rich record Allen captured of his life and times, it’s almost difficult to believe that especially in those early years, before the Beat Generation rose to prominence and infamy, Allen wasn’t possessed of a kind of prescience for what was to come.
For the first time, some of Ginsberg’s finest images appear in large (11″ x 14″) format, printed in exquisite detail from gravure plates. This copy is one of 5,000 printed and bound in Japan by Toppan Printing Company, published by Twelvetrees Press. This near-flawless copy includes original dust jacket and obi-band. Signed and dated by Allen Ginsberg in San Francisco, dated 8/29/1991.
An insider’s history of the “Beat” movement and its personalities through the personal photographs of one of its principle figures. Pointing his camera randomly at the counterculture around him, the poet created a unique visual record of his friends and companions covering a period of almost forty years. His subjects include Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Robert Frank, Paul Bowles, Timothy Leary, and dozens of other writers, painters, friends, as well as several revealing self-portraits. Beneath each photograph are Ginsberg’s handwritten reminiscences of the circumstances, people, and places relating to the photograph.”
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