Books In The MCL: Golden Boy as Anthony Cool: by Herbert Kohl and James Hinton

As founding members of the Martha Cooper Library at the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) proudly showcases a monthly feature from the MCL collection, illuminating the extensive and diverse treasures we’re assembling for both researchers and enthusiasts of graffiti, street art, urban art, and its numerous offshoots. Below, we present one of our latest selections.

Text Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo Photos by Sebastian Kläbsch

Herbert Kohl and James Hinton, Golden Boy as Anthony Cool. 1972.

Herbert Kohl and James Hinton’s “Golden Boy as Anthony Cool,” published in 1972, is a seminal work in the study of urban graffiti and street culture. Not only an academic exploration; it’s a journey into the heart of graffiti as a form of personal expression, rebellion, and cultural identity. Kohl’s insightful essays paired with Hinton’s evocative photographs provide a window into the lives of young people in the urban landscapes of New York City and Los Angeles as they simultaneously boil, wane and flourish in the late 60s and early 70s. These vibrant and vibrating communities are chronicled, whether affluent suburbs or struggling neighborhoods, each appears to brim with stories cryptically told through tags and murals on walls and doors.

As a crucial part of street art history, “Golden Boy as Anthony Cool” is an essential resource for anyone interested in the roots of modern graffiti culture. Its compelling blend of vivid imagery and profound analysis not only makes it an invaluable addition to any collector’s library but also a portal to the dynamic world of urban street art. Simple and unassuming, the book is testament to graffiti’s evolution, offering a deeper appreciation for the art form and the voices that shape it.