TopFoto has secured exclusive rights to organise and represent this small but fascinating collection, much of which has never been seen.
Graham Keen was a candid chronicler of the 1960s London scene centred on Soho’s Better Books and the Indica Gallery, crossing over with the Marquee Club and hidden venues where unknown mega-stars of the future tried out ideas. Working with his friend Barry Miles, Graham’s work shows an instinct for cool and the talent of the underground.
He caught those who fuelled and defined the 1960s: John Hurt, Joan Baez, Ronnie Scott, Pink Floyd, Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, The Who, Marianne Faithfull, Diana Rigg, Philip Larkin, Jim Haynes, Barry Miles, John “Hoppy” Hopkins, Kasmin, “Groovy Bob”, Allen Ginsberg, Bertrand Russell, Francis Bacon, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gustav Metzger, John Latham, Jeff Nuttall, William Burroughs, Lucien Freud and Alberto Giacometti.
Folders, files, even cigar boxes, are crammed with transparencies, negatives and prints ….Muhammad Ali with the black power leader Michael X in May 1966 at the Central London mosque in Regent’s Park, the 1965 anti-Vietnam march led by Marc Bolan, Joan Baez, Donovan and Vanessa Redgrave….
Despite the current logistical challenges, c. 125 images so far have been digitised and uploaded onto topfoto.co.uk
In 1968 Keen became art editor and director at International Times. When the magazine was raided by police in 1969 for publishing a gay lonely hearts section, Graham and three other directors were sent for trial in 1970 and found guilty of conspiracy to corrupt public morals, with a then-huge fine of £2,000. Graham Keen then joined Time Out magazine as a designer, where he stayed until 2001. He died one year ago, on 16 April 2019.