Photographs of the New York Beat Scene • Burt Glinn • Magnum Photos

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Burt Glinn Leroi Jones, one of the original Beat poets and controversial for his extreme political views, at his home in Newark. Now known as Amiri Baraka, he was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey in 2000 and (...)

Jason McCoy Gallery will stage an exhibition of Burt Glinn’s series of photographs capturing the Beat generation in their native New York, between 1957-1960. The exhibition follows a new publication, The Beat Scene, published by Reel Art Press.

Burt Glinn: Photographs of the New York Beat Scene reflects the spontaneity inherent to the Beat philosophy: arms flail, music plays, people talk, eat, dance, paint. In Glinn’s characteristic manner, each photograph is linked by a humanistic thread, drawing on the palpable energy of life in the city: movement, discourse, change.

Burt Glinn Writer Jack Kerouac at a Beat party at Seven Arts Coffee Gallery. New York City, USA. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Sculptor David Smith in the studio of painter Helen Frankenthaler. New York City, USA. 1957. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Painter Helen Frankenthaler and sculptor David Smith in Frankenthaler's studio. New York City, USA. 1957. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Painter Helen Frankenthaler uses slippered feet to create an Abstract Expressionist painting. New York City. USA. 1957. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Sammy Davis Jr. dances across Madison Avenue after his last show at the Copa Cabana. New York City, USA. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Mimi Margaux on the balcony of an East Village Beat hangout. She describes herself as a dancer, actress, model and follower of "la Vie Boheme." New York City. USA. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Beat poet Gregory Corso sits in the window of Allen Ginsberg's East Village apartment. New York City, USA. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Earl Bostic and his trumpet player playing chess during a break at the Blackhawk. That is the sun coming through the red and white striped window. Pretty jazzy eh, Dad? This is the end of Take One. (...)
Burt Glinn Choreographer Merce Cunningham with dance Anita Huffington in the mirror. New York City, USA. 1957. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Seven Arts Coffee Gallery. New York City, USA. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Things get rough. John Rapinic restrains Corso who hurls insults at a reporter: "But you don't understand Kangoroonian weep! Forsake thy trade! Flee to the Enchenedian Islands." In foreground, wize (...)
Burt Glinn Poetry reading. New York City, USA. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Things get rough. John Rapinic restrains Gregory Corso who hurls insults at a reporter: "But you don't understand Kangoroonian weep! Forsake thy trade! Flee to the Enchenedian Islands." New York Ci (...)
Burt Glinn Beatnik in Washington Square Park. NYC, USA. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn From left to right: Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, and an unidentified woman. New York City, USA. 1957. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos

They transport the viewer to this lost but pivotal moment in the city’s cultural awakening, enabling one to participate as a bystander on the city streets. Iconic faces are shown going about their day-to-day: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, LeRoi Jones in addition to Helen Frankenthaler, Anita Huffington, Franz Kline, Barnett Newman and others, venture from low-lit bars where readings take place, to sprawling private views that turn into larger-still parties.

Featuring both black-and-white and color work, this exhibition includes images not seen for over 50 years, and several others that until now have never been available to the public. They were recently discovered, along with Kerouac’s original manuscript, in Burt Glinn’s archive, where they had not been touched for over 50 years.

Shop the Burt Glinn collection of posters and fine prints here.