A photograph stops time, capturing a moment suspended between past and present. Photographs can reveal and cloak, ask questions, and offer up answers.
In 2018, The Museum at Bethel Woods launched an online archive of photographs and videos collected from nearly 30 contributors– all bringing new life and context to the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair. The photographs capture candid moments from before, during and after the festival, each providing a glimpse into the everyday moments of the festival. The archive captures and preserves the joyous experiences of festival attendees – as well as the less-than-perfect aspects like the mud and the traffic jams on rural country roads.
The archive is a link to the past:a bridge that spans 50 years of human history, chronicling an endeavor to be better. It is a reminder that the past still has lessons to teach, and that we are capturing our own history through the photographs we take every day. Photos are one of the truest forms of storytelling that exists today. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, it is up to us to piece those words together.
In the spirit of those stories, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts continues to foster budding storytellers, historians, and photographers through its creative programming. Efforts include Project: Identity, which offers intensive photography workshops at the Conservatory at Bethel Woods where participants learn everything from composition to photo editing, and special event series Vibrations. Vibrations is an eight-part event series that brings artists, influencers and tastemakers together to share the legacy of the past through unique experiences.
Move through history with our online archive of iconic, aerial photographs showing the epic sprawl of the festival, and explore intimate snapshots taken during the festival. Then, join us at Bethel Woods for an only-found-here experience.