The University of Toronto announced today the receipt, thanks to a bequest by the Larry and Cookie Rossy Family Foundation, of 7,686 photographs and 236 silver gelatin prints (including many original snapshots and uniquely-inscribed prints), making them now home to, undoubtedly the world’s largest collection of Allen Ginsberg photographs.
The photographs span the years between 1944 and 1997 and comprise pretty much a complete collection of Allen’s extraordinary picture-taking career.
“This is an exciting and remarkable gift”, declared U of T President Marc Gertler, “(a)..truly fascinating collection”. Others went further, “This fabulous collection provides both scholars and students alike unique entree to Ginsberg’s passionate eye and helps to confirm his status as a major 20th-Century American poet with the camera”, declares photography and new media professor, Louis Kaplan – “One cannot overestimate its [the collection’s] photo-historical, pedagogical and cultural value.”
This Fall the two institutions will collaborate to present an exhibition of Ginsberg photos.
[Allen Ginsberg – 1985 Self-Portrait – part of the collection at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library Allen Ginsberg Collection]