Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Peggy Biderman photographs of Gregory Corso, undated 

Biderman, Peggy,
Phys. Desc: 
0.25 linear feet (0.25 linear feet 1 box)
Call Number: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Peggy Biderman was born Peggy Klyman in New York City in 1926. During the late-1950s she was a member of the pacifist Committee for Non-Violent Action, and participated in sit-ins and other civil rights activities in Florida, organized by the Congress for Racial Equality. Beginning in 1965, Biderman lived in the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, where she met and became close friends with painter and experimental filmmaker Harry Smith, Beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, visual artists Mary Beach and Claude Pelieu, musician and poet Patti Smith, and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Biderman also worked at the Museum of Modern Art. She lived at the Chelsea Hotel until the late-1970s, when she moved to San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. She died of cancer in San Francisco at age 64 in July 1991.

Scope and Contents

Photographs taken by Peggy Biderman of poet Gregory Corso, with his family and friends, including his son Max Corso, and poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The collection is comprised of recent color prints, mostly on matte paper, made from photographs of poet Gregory Corso taken by Peggy Biderman, probably in the late-1970s, in New York City and San Francisco, though some may have been taken in other locations. The collection includes photographs of Corso with poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, with Corso's son Max (born in 1976), and with an unidentified woman who appears to be Max's surrogate mother and Corso's companion, Lisa Brinker. Other photographs depict Corso reading poetry, in front of the Chelsea Hotel, and in casual situations with friends. The collection is arranged into folders according to designations made on the photographs, which seem to correspond to shoots or discrete events.