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Rebels and Beats

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Language Arts And English +2 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

This topical collection is based on a past exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery entitled Rebels and Beats: Painters and Poets of the 1950s. This collection might be used by teachers or students who want to explore the counterculture of the 1950s, a time period typically associated with conformity. The collection includes paintings, photographs, and videos related to the writers and artists involved in the Beat Generation, San Francisco Renaissance, Black Mountain College, and New York School scenes.

In what ways did these artists challenge the social norms of the time? Why is art often a means of challenging the status quo?

tags: Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, de Kooning, Baraka, poem, counterculture, Beat Movement

Elaine de Kooning Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Elaine de Kooning, Portrait in a Minute

National Portrait Gallery

Elaine de Kooning, Portrait in a Minute

National Portrait Gallery

William S. Burroughs

National Portrait Gallery

William S. Burroughs

National Portrait Gallery

Allen Ginsberg

National Portrait Gallery

Allen Ginsberg

National Portrait Gallery

Allen Ginsberg

National Portrait Gallery

Allen Ginsberg

National Portrait Gallery

Allen Ginsberg

National Portrait Gallery

Allen Ginsberg

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Allen Ginsberg (with Peter Orlovsky)

National Portrait Gallery

Portrait of Allen Ginsberg

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

National Portrait Gallery

Jack Kerouac

National Portrait Gallery

Jack Kerouac

National Portrait Gallery

Portrait of Jack Kerouac

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Robert Duncan

National Portrait Gallery

Hymns to St. Geryon

Archives of American Art

Kenneth Rexroth and daughter

Archives of American Art

Kenneth Rexroth

National Portrait Gallery

Gary Snyder

National Portrait Gallery

Robert Creeley

National Portrait Gallery

For Love (Robert Creeley)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Charles Olson

National Portrait Gallery

John Wieners

National Portrait Gallery

John Ashbery

National Portrait Gallery

John Ashbery

National Portrait Gallery

Honey or Wine?

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Amiri Baraka

National Portrait Gallery

A Poem for Black Hearts

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Kenneth Koch

National Portrait Gallery

Frank O'Hara

National Portrait Gallery

O'Hara Reading

National Portrait Gallery

Fairfield Porter

Archives of American Art

Black Mountain College bulletin

Archives of American Art