Veteran Village Voice photographer Fred W. McDarrah died in his sleep at home in Greenwich Village early last Tuesday morning at the age of 81. Over a 50-year span, McDarrah documented the rise of the Beat Generation, the city’s postmodern art movement, its off-off-Broadway actors, troubadours, politicians, agitators and social protests.
Fred captured Jack Kerouac frolicking with women at a New Year’s bash in 1958, Andy Warhol adjusting a movie-camera lens in his silver-covered factory, and Bob Dylan offering a salute of recognition outside Sheridan Square near the Voice’s old office. Not just a social reporter, McDarrah was a great photo-journalist. He photographed the still-smoldering ruins of the Weather Underground bomb factory on W. 12th Street.
For years, McDarrah was the Village Voice’s only photographer and, for decades, he ran the Voice’s photo department. He helped train dozens of young photographers, including James Hamilton, Sylvia Plachy, Robin Holland and Marc Asnin. His mailbox was simply marked “McPhoto.”
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