Just as he was finding his voice, and as The Beat Generation was swelling up around him, Allen Ginsberg began to take photographs of his friends — portraits that attempted to contain the integrity of each subject as well as an intimate moment between them. He did this for nearly a decade, and when he asked Bill Morgan to archive his work in the 1980s, many of the photos emerged. So Ginsberg brought out the camera again to take portraits of the remaining Beats and some of his other friends (including Bob Dylan and Francesco Clemente). He then hand-wrote inscriptions on many of them. To present “Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg,” this special exhibition of more than 80 photos, the Contemporary Jewish Museum has curated an entire series of programs, ranging from talks with Bill Morgan to readings with local luminaries across multiple generations. This opening celebration includes a talk from National Gallery of Art’s Curator of Photography Sarah Greenough about the making of the exhibition, followed by an original musical arrangement of Ginsberg’s poem “America” by Conspiracy of Beards’ musical director Daryl Henline. There will also be a pop-up poetry salon and drop-in zine-making with the always rad Rad Dad creators, a typewriter petting zoo (!), and a cash bar.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: May 23. Continues through Sept. 8, 2013

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