What is The Museum at Bethel Woods?
The Museum at Bethel Woods is an integral part of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which inspires people to lead creative and engaged lives through its many concerts, events, festivals, programs, and exhibitions—all on the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
The Museum, which opened to the public in June 2008, is housed in a beautiful LEED-certified green building, set back from the top of the Woodstock festival hillside. Within the building, in addition to the Main Exhibit Gallery, Museum Shop and Muse Café (with indoor and outdoor seating), there is a spacious Event Gallery where intimate concerts and other events are held. On the lower level are the Special Exhibit Gallery, Corridor Gallery, and public rest rooms, as well as the Museum’s administrative offices.
Through our award-winning Main Exhibit—“Woodstock and The Sixties”—varied and engaging special exhibitions, growing collection of artifacts and reference materials, museum programs for children, youth, and adults, and the preserved historic site, the Museum makes the lessons and ideals of The Sixties relevant and accessible today.
The Museum embodies the key ideals of the era we interpret—peace, respect, cooperation, creativity, engagement, and a connection to the planet we live on and all the people who inhabit it. In addition to preserving and interpreting an era, the Museum is actively involved in our community—through education, economic development, and historic preservation—to encourage social responsibility among our visitors and supporters and to advocate for issues that make Sullivan County, and the world at large, a better place. To borrow from 1960s ideology, everyone has the power to change the world.
General support for The Museum at Bethel Woods is provided by a grant from the William and Elaine Kaplan Private Foundation.
January 14, 2014—The museum is proud to announce that it has been awarded three significant grants in support of its efforts to preserve the Woodstock historic site, specifically to commission a Cultural Landscape Report. The grants, totaling $27,000, put the museum over half way to fully funding the $50,000 project. The grant support comes from the following sources:
The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, $15,000
National Trust for Historic Preservation, $5,000
Preservation League of New York State, $7,000
We are grateful for this generous support for this important project and encourage everyone who supports the preservation of this significant historic site to contribute and help the museum fully fund this project.
January 14, 2014—A New Year shout-out to two museum supporters who have made generous donations to the permanent museum collection. Galad Elfflandson and Rod Mandeville, both avid collectors of Sixties material culture, have committed to donate their collections to the museum, and we are very grateful to them.
Rod began his support of the museum even before it opened in 2008 by loaning several key artifacts for display in the main exhibit, including his spectacular stars and stripes fringe jacket, Woodstock posters and tickets, and stacks of LP albums. His extensive collection of Beatles memorabilia will be featured in this spring’s special exhibition, America Meets The Beatles! Recognizing the significance of his collection for future research and exhibition at the museum, Rod has made it known that he will donate the entire collection to the museum over the next few years.
From across our border to the north, Galad Elfflandson has reached out to the museum as a permanent home for his amazing collection of Sixties books, posters, underground comics, and recorded music. He has already begun the process of transferring his amazing collection to the museum, greatly expanding the museum’s in-house reference library and our growing collection of rock posters and cards.
January 14, 2014—On December 10, Google launched its Google Open Gallery project, and The Museum at Bethel Woods is happy to announce that it was selected to be one of the first 40 museums, galleries, and artists to be included in the project. Designed as a simple way for institutions and individual artists to show off their collections and easily create online exhibitions, Google Open Gallery also allows users of the site to create their own online exhibitions from the posted artifacts and artwork. it’s really cool. Check out the museum’s online galleries at http://museum-at-bethel-woods.culturalspot.org/.
Museum Board of Trustees
The Museum at Bethel Woods is an educational 501(c)(3) not-for-profit museum chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, overseen by the Board of Trustees of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Current members of the Museum Board are:
The Museum is an institutional member of:
American Alliance of Museums
American Association for State and Local History
Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums
Museum Association of New York
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Donations help to support our mission to be a world-class cultural center committed to inspire, educate and empower individuals through the arts and humanities.