Description

Sammy’s Bowery Follies was a New York institution, and became a symbol of the city’s melting pot, where all characters of the city could meet, drink and sing along together with the Vaudeville entertainers. At the time, LIFE magazine described it as an “alcoholic haven for the derelicts whose presence has made the Bowery a universal symbol of poverty and futility”. Burt Glinn photographed the venue and its patrons in 1949.

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

Burt Glinn
© Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Burt Glinn served in the United States Army between 1943 and 1946, before studying literature at Harvard University, where he edited and photographed for the Harvard Crimson college newspaper. From 1949 to 1950, Glinn worked for LIFE magazine before becoming a freelancer.

Glinn became an associate member of Magnum in 1951, along with Eve Arnold and Dennis Stock – the first Americans to join the young photo agency – and a full member in 1954.

Versatile and technically brilliant, Glinn is one of Magnum’s great corporate and advertising photographers. He has received numerous awards for his editorial and commercial photography, including the Best Book of Photographic Reporting from Abroad from the Overseas Press Club and the Best Print Ad of the Year from the Art Directors Club of New York. Glinn has served as president of the American Society of Media Photographers. He was president of Magnum between 1972 and 1975 and was re-elected to the post in 1987.

© Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos

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