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Guide to the Fred W. McDarrah Gay Pride Photographs Collection

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2596

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Colin Torre, 2012. Updated by Nicholas Martin, 2012.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 23, 2017

Biographical Note

Fred McDarrah was a staff photographer for New York's Village Voice. For many years, his pictures chronicled the people and events of New York's flourishing nightlife and activist communities.

Born in Brooklyn in 1926, McDarrah spent his young adulthood as an Army paratrooper, photographing the U.S. occupation of Japan after World War II. He returned to New York and completed NYU's journalism program in 1954. Starting at the  Voice in 1959, McDarrah set out to document the Village scene, capturing iconic images of burgeoning artists, musicians, performers and activists. He published his photos in a number of books over the course of his career.

In his introduction to  The Artist's World in Pictures, Thomas B. Hess writes, "McDarrah does not claim his photographs are art. He claims they are a part of truth. ...And they have something to do with justice" (11). McDarrah cared little for the artistic merit of his photographs, applying a journalistic objectivity to his work at all times.

At his death in 2007, McDarrah was still consulting photo editor with the  Voice.


Fox, Margarit. "Fred W. McDarrah, Photographer, Dies at 81."  The New York Times, November 8, 2007.

McDarrah, Fred W.  The Artist's World in Pictures. Introduction by Thomas B. Hess. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1961.