1967. Archive of five vintage borderless photographs, and three typescript essays, all by photographer Jerry Bauer, circa 1967, with the photographs in the archive corresponding to the topics of the essays.
Bauer was an American photographer best known for his photographic portraits of writers, with his portraits of Samuel Beckett being held in particularly high regard. Much of his work resides in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
The first essay, “The American Underground: Mind Expansion, A Messiah, ‘Love’,” is an examination of Timothy Leary and the League for Spiritual Discovery (LSD), a communal organization carrying out studies in the religious use of psychedelic drugs, as well as the effects of LSD. One photo, showing a young man seated on a bed with beads in his hand, one young lady leaning against him and another lying, head in his lap, matches the description in the text of a subject's focus on “a set of beads,” and a description of the living quarters being “. . . simple: mattresses on the floor.”
The second essay, “American Underground : Mind Expansion, The Poets, ‘Love’ (2),” is broken into three sections. The first is about the musical group The Fugs, who Bauer describes as “the Beatles of the American underground.” Two of the photos, in and around Washington Square Park feature members of The Fugs, one of a gleaming Ed Sanders and Geoff Outlaw with two unidentified young women. In a second photograph, the same group is on the grass along with Ken Weaver and a third unidentified young woman.
The second section of the essay is about “the two stars” of the underground film movement, Warholstars Baby Jane Holzer and Edie Sedgewick, corresponding to a photograph shot in Warhol’s Factory showing Ingrid Superstar sitting on a mattress and Baby Jane Holzer on the floor facing away from the camera, along with several unidentified subjects. Holzer is identified from a published photograph by Bauer, titled “Baby Jane Holzer” taken at the same time as the one in the archive.
The final section of the essay is a about American youth and drug culture in Greenwich Village and about the neighborhood itself. Here the related photographs show unidentified young people seated on the grass, one playing the guitar, in Washington Square Park.
The third essay, “Andy Warhol: Film Director of America’s Underground,” is a study of Warhol’s early experimental films. Beginning with a brief summation of Warhol’s early career, Bauer goes on to postulate about Warhol’s films, discussing the director’s various regulars, including Elekro, Baby Jane Holzer, Sally Kirkland, Nico (here spelled “Nicot”), and others.
Photographs: Four photographs 10.75 x 8.25 inches, one photograph 10.75 x 8 inches. Near Fine overall.
Essays: 8.25 x 10.75 inches. Typescript on onionskin stock, six leaves, bound with a silver corner clip. Near Fine.