[San Francisco: S.i., ca.1959]. Large, early photographic portrait of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, taken in the basement of his City Lights Bookstore a few years after it opened. Ferlinghetti is seated on a stool, a shelf of books in the background (including Kerouac's Mexico City Blues), pointing at a door painted with the words "I Am The Door." William J. Eisenlord (1926-1997) was a San Francisco photographer and owner of the Omnibus Gallery in Sacramento, best-known for his photographs of City Lights Bookstore, and the San Francisco jazz and beat poetry scene. His photographic archive is held by the Archives of American Art. Item #4215
Original black & white photograph, measuring ca.11" x 13.75" (27.5cm x 35cm), mounted to mat-board. With holograph note in graphite and ink on verso: "Photo by Bill Eisenlord / L. Ferlinghetti / in basement City Lights - 1954(?) / No Block. San Francisco." Light wear to extremities, small pencil notation and signature of R.E. Johnson along lower margin on verso; Near Fine.