It’s the 1960s in New York City. The creative boom in advertising design… the artists’ hang outs like the Cedar Bar. They were all there… Jack Kerouac, Dennis Hopper, Jackson Pollock… a rampant stream of creativity that recalls Paris in the first half of the century.
Henry Geldzahler, an art historian fresh out of Yale and Harvard, enters the New York scene in 1960, the year JFK was elected. These were optimistic and exciting times. Artists, living in cheap downtown lofts, were breaking from the influence of Europe and Abstract Expressionism. Something entirely new was happening. Something purely American.
There were new voices of smart young people… Beat poets, James Dean, New Wave films, new appliances and cars, and product design. Cheap rents and a street lifestyle could let anyone get started and do their thing. And Henry quickly became a familiar figure downtown.