Allen Ginsberg Exhibit At The Contemporary Jewish Museum

Submitted By hoffy023
Words: 633
Pages: 3

Writing Assignment 1

By recommendation, I went to see the Allen Ginsberg exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish museum. The exhibit was a mix of still prints shown in a photo journalistic fashion along with Ginsberg’s poems read aloud over the speakers. I did not feel strong emotion for the prints, but when combined with the fierceness and passion of the poems playing in the background the room as well as the photos came more alive and you could understand the unconventional life style the artist was living. The pictures brought forward everyday life at home, with family, as well as the social and literary movement of the Beat Generation. Ginsberg, not necessarily known for his photography as much as some of his other works, was accustom to carrying a camera with him at all times. His prints all came off very real to me. Although some were candid those that were not seemed very straight laced and serious. I thought that interesting since his poetry is more edgy and riske, and the of the people around him were all living such a bold alternative life style. The Beat Generation, or movement started with a small group of writers all very educated but questioning their prior generations. They demonstrated a care-free, anti-establishment life style, promoting personal release through sex, writing, drugs, jazz, and demonstrative social standings. Secluded from "conventional" society, their provocative demonstrations and published works were starting to get people’s attention and was a picking up in more "liberal" major cities around the country. With City Light bookstore in San Francisco, a store welcoming to alternative writings and publishing much of their unconventional works, we often shared our home with Ginsberg and The Beats as their home base. Later the owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg become lovers and partners for life. The photos at the exhibit gave me the impression the people surrounding him, family and friends were a huge part of his life. These pictures of his everyday life showed multiple pictures of his family. Although his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and not there for much of his life there were multiple pictures of his father, grandmother, and family that was visiting. Some taking place during religious ceremony. Through some of his readings, photos, and the mention of Sabbath it seems Judaism was definitely a part of his life. Other photos portrayed times