From the boutiques and galleries of Swinging London, to the Paris student riots and anti-Vietnam protests, to pioneering space exploration, the late 1960s marked an era-defining significance and impact upon life and culture today. From shifts in global civil rights, consumerism and multiculturalism, it was a revolutionary time in its truest sense.
An upcoming exhibition, You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-70, at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, in partnership with the Levi’s® brand, will re-visit and explore this exciting period – through the photography, literature, music, design, film, fashion and performance that defined the counterculture generation.
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity, spanning over 2,000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium. This new major exhibition, which will open on September 10, 2016, will bring the culture of rebellion to life as told through music and its influence on fashion, art and politics – radically revolutionizing the way people lived their lives.
The Levi’s® brand has always been associated with youth culture, new ideas, rebellion and individuality, and this was never more true than in the 1960s. Iconic styles like Levi’s® 501® and 505® jeans were unequivocally linked with this era, becoming symbols for authentic self-expression and a blank canvas for creatives and the anti-establishment movement – for influential musicians such as Jefferson Airplane and the Rolling Stones.
“The 60s were not only a defining moment in popular culture but also a period when Levi’s® was at the forefront of the generational and social zeitgeist,” said Richard Hurren, vice president of the Levi’s brand in Northern Europe. “With the continued influence of the 60s on culture and society today, including current fashion trends and denim in particular, we believe that our partnership with the V&A is a perfect fit and that there is no better place to showcase the art, design and performance from such a defining and prolific era.”
Just a few examples of the hundreds of items that will be on display include: handwritten lyrics for The Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds; a piece of moon rock on loan from NASA alongside the space suit worn by William Anders, who took the defining ‘Earthrise’ photograph on the Apollo 8 mission; a rare Apple 1 computer; iconic Levi’s® jeans from the era; and a poster for the first Earth Day created by Robert Rauschenberg. Other references will span widely from music, film and fashion.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Levi’s® for the first time and grateful for their support. The brand, which has such resonance with many of the cultural and social changes taking place during the period covered by the exhibition, is an ideal partner.” said Martin Roth, Director of the V&A.
Without a doubt, the 1960s has shaped our world today, and this exhibition hopes to encourage a rediscovery of an imaginative optimism to envisage a new and better tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more updates on You Say Want a Revolution? as the exhibition gears up for its Fall 2016 opening.