Fun, Lively Photos from a 1960s Brooklyn Bar

Duke University’s Rubenstein Library is home to an incredible archive of rare books and manuscripts, but the institution’s 5,000-item collection of American photographer William Gedney’s work is what recently caught our attention, thanks to Retronaut. The Gedney collection spans the 1940s through 1989, and his photos from O’Rourke’s Bar in Brooklyn circa 1960 are quite memorable amongst the library’s massive holdings. “Gedney recorded the lives of others with remarkable clarity and poignancy. These photographs, along with his notebooks and writings, illuminate the vision of an intensely private man who, as a writer and photographer, revealed the lives of others with striking sensitivity.” O’Rourke’s rollicking neighborhood atmosphere and its characters are center stage at the New York nightspot. Grab your tiara and head past the break for a look at Gedney’s Brooklyn bar bash.

William Gedney Photographs and Writings, 1940s-1989, Archive of Documentary Arts, Rubenstein Library, Duke University