Allen Ginsberg’s Hand-Annotated Photos of the Beat Generation

Disappointed by the On the Road movie? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Luckily, NYU’s Grey Art Gallery is offering a far superior option for those in search of an inside glimpse at how the Beat Generation lived. Beginning January 15, New Yorkers can visit the gallery’s Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg to peruse a selection of 110 photos taken (and often captioned by hand) by none other than Allen Ginsberg. From a shot of Jack Kerouac’s muse, Neal Cassady, and “his love of the year” snuggling under a cinema marquee advertising a Brando triple feature to a solemn photo of William S. Burroughs at the Met, the annotated images provide a personal, visual scrapbook of Ginsberg’s life in the 1950s and beyond. Click through to preview a selection of images from the show.

Allen Ginsberg, “Now Jack as I warned you far back as 1945, if you keep going home to live with your ‘Memère’ you’ll find yourself wound tighter and tighter in her apron strings till you’re an old man and can’t escape…” William Seward Burroughs camping as an André Gide-ian sophisticate lecturing the earnest Thomas Wolfean All-American youth Jack Kerouac who listens soberly dead-pan to “the most intelligent man in America” for a funny second’s charade in my living room 206 East 7th Street Apt 16, Manhattan, one evening Fall 1953, 1953, gelatin silver print, printed 1984–97, 11 1/8 x 17 3/8 in. (28.3 x 44.2 cm), National Gallery of Art, Gift of Gary S. Davis. © 2012 The Allen Ginsberg LLC. All rights reserved.