Glory Days

The Beat Generation Photographs of Fred W. McDarrah

October 2 through
December 23, 1998

Fred W. McDarrah (American, born 1926)
Larry Rivers Playing Sax at 5 Spot, April 1, 1960.
Gelatin silver print, 6 1/2 x 9 1/4" (image)
Copyright Fred W. McDarrah, from
Beat Generation: Glory Days in Greenwich Village, by Fred and Gloria McDarrah (Schirmer)

Were they silly and irresponsible -- or were they divinely inspired? Were they the best or the worst that America has to offer? The Beat Generation remains one of the most controversial of American legends. Even the word "Beat" can mean "beat down" or "beatific." Picture editor of the Village Voice for 35 years, Fred W. McDarrah produced a lively and unpretentious photographic chronicle of the Beats, selections of which will be on display. McDarrah and his wife, Gloria, were both participants in and meticulous observers of the Beat scene in Greenwich Village in the fifties and sixties, and as a result his images and their accompanying artifacts of the period reflect these "glory days" of poetry readings, jazz, cafe life, parties, performances, and the ordinary life of extraordinarily free Americans. The exhibition will be accompanied by lectures, poetry readings, special music performances and a panel discussion with noted Beat-era artists, held in conjunction with the Virginia Film Festival (Oct. 29- Nov. 1), which this year explores the meaning of "Cool."

The exhibition has been made possible with the support of the University's Arts Enhancement Funds and the Art$ Program. Additional support has been received from the Departments of Art, Music, and English, the Women's Studies Program, and the Virginia Film Festival.

Exhibition Lecture
The Beat Period: What Was Happening, What It Meant, and How It Significantly Related to American Artistic Tradition, Far Eastern Art and Thought, and European Phenomenology and Existentialism
by Neil Chassman

A member of the New York poetry scene in the mid-1960s and curator of the ground-breaking exhibition "Poets of the Cities: New York and San Francisco, 1950-65," Chassman recently held a memorial poetry reading for Jack Micheline at the New Knitting Factory in New York City.
October 22, 5:30 pm, Campbell Hall 153

First Sundays Gallery Talk
Fred W. McDarrah, photographer
Sunday, November 1, 2 pm
in the Museum


Program Events
in conjunction with the Virginia Film Festival

Lecture: The Art of Hans Hofmann, slide presentation by filmmaker Ken Jacobs, former student of Hofmann, followed by live "Nervous System" performance of Bitemporal Vision/The Sea, honoring Hofmann
Friday, October 30, 12 noon, location tba

Retrospective Screening: The Jack Smith/Ken Jacobs Collaborations including Blond Cobra and Little Stabs at Happiness
Saturday, October 31, 11 am, Campbell Hall

Panel: The Art of Spontaneity"
Jacobs, McDarrah, composer David Amram, writer/musician Ed Sanders and others will discuss links across jazz improvisation, Beat poetry, underground film, and Abstract Expressionism.
Saturday, October 31, 1 pm, Campbell Hall

Performance: A Beat Reunion
David Amram and Ed Sanders in performance plus special screening of Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie's Pull My Daisy!
Saturday, October 31, 7 pm, Culbreth Theatre, $12

Images and Text Copyright, 1997
The Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

Bayly Art Museum
University of Virginia, Rugby Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903