Nat Finkelstein, art director of Harper’s Bazaar and a photographer who captured some of the most iconic images of the 1960s, died on this date in 2009. He was a political radical who helped organize civil rights and anti-war demonstrations in the 1960s, and when his involvement with the Black Panthers led to a warrant for his arrest, he fled the U.S. in 1969 and spent the next decade in the Middle East, selling hashish. Previously, he had been a constant presence at Andy Warhol’s “Factory” in New York, where he photographed the Velvet Underground, Edie Sedgwick, Salvador Dali, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, and Marcel Duchamp. Finkelstein returned to the U.S. in 1982 and began documenting the New York punk scene. In the 1990s, finally drug-free, the photographer was in constant demand, with shows at museums and galleries worldwide and his images appearing in Life, Time, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and many other outlets.
“I watched pop die and punk being born.” —Nat Finkelstein