Monday, April 21, 2008

Spiritual Technology 2: Dorsky Museum: Photographs by Allen Ginsberg

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of the Arts (SDMA) in the Hudson Valley never fails to inspire or surprise. Whether an exhibition of faculty or student work, or a show from its great collection of modern art and photography, the Dorsky, located on the campus of SUNY - New Paltz is remarkable in its passion and quality. A great recent show included "Beat and Beyond: Photographs by Allen Ginsberg." The collection here largely includes photos of the usual Beat suspects (W.S. Burroughs, Kerouac, et al) but it is remarkable that some of these photos from the Beat era that are virtually iconic were taken by none other than Irwin Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) from the 50s through his death in 1997. Some of the photos include poesy and commentary that Ginsberg had written directly on the print. Recent writings surrounding a book "A Blue Hand- The Beats in India" suggests that AG's real talent was for living. Maybe so, but this exhibit, that deserves a wider audience, highlights yet another dimension of the enormous talent, energy and creative output that surrounded Allen Ginsberg-- a poet, philosopher, critic, musician, artist, cultural visionary and activitst, and photographer, the 11th anniversary of whose passing recently occurred (April 5, 1997). These photos, along with an expanded collection of other works, "A Discerning Vision," are from the collection of Howard Greenberg,a collector and curator who founded the Catskill Center for Photography (CCP) back in the late 70s. The collection includes originals of other classics, such as "An American Girl in Italy" by Ruth Orkin, as well as photos by Weegee, Lewis Hine and Walker Evans. A concurrent exhibit of painting and prints at the
museum, "Defining Art" includes Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, and other recently acquired works by luminaries and other lesser known, but wonderful artists. A smaller show, "Reading Objects 2008" includes art coupled with commentary by students and faculty in New Paltz's art programs.

Dorsky remains a smaller museum that nevertheless packs quite a punch.

Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz: http://www.newpaltz.edu/museum/information/museumvisit.html

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Current Reading

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