Exhibitions in The Museum

Experience the award-winning, multi-media exhibit that takes you through the tumultuous decade that culminated with the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair right here in Bethel, NY.

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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 Main Exhibit: The Story of Woodstock and the '60s

At 6,728 square feet, The Main Exhibit Gallery holds the permanent exhibit which includes 20 films, five interactive productions, 164 artifacts on display, more than 300 photographic murals, and dozens of interpretive text panels.  Discover the iconic fashion of the 1960s, listen to music from the era, and watch a series of films that bring history to life with original footage featuring the people, stories, sights, and music of the three-day Woodstock Festival. Woodstock: The Music shows, for the first time ever, high-definition footage of the best performances from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair told from the perspective of the performers themselves, as well as contemporary artists from today.

2019 Special Exhibit: We Are Golden

Many contemporary movements, including Concert for Bangladesh, Live Aid, Farm Aid, We Are the World, Earth Day, the Peace Movement, Women's Movement, LGBTQ Movement, #metoo, the Women's March and student gun control movement all have their roots in the 1960s. The We Are Golden exhibition uses the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a metaphor for the tumult and human response of the entire decade of the sixties in the hope that young people today may draw inspiration to articulate what it is that they want from their own world in their own time.

Crossroads Exhibit Gallery: We Are Stardust

The moon landing was the most-watched event in history at that point in time. In the Crossroads Exhibit Gallery, We Are Stardust presents objects and interpretations related to the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing - an event which took place in July of 1969, just weeks before the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The exhibit interprets the history surrounding the moon landing through the lens of American culture, examining the effect of the Cold War/Space Race, American space program, “moon mania” and the eventual national success of putting the first man on the moon on the lives of everyday Americans at the end of the tumultuous 1960s.

Corridor Exhibit Gallery: 3 Days of Peace & Music: The Performers of The Woodstock Festival

Featuring vignettes on each of the 32 groups that performed at Woodstock, this semi-permanent exhibit tells the story of each group pre- and post-Woodstock. From Richie Havens' opening performance to Jimi Hendrix's rousing closing performance, learn how each of the bands left a lasting impact on music and popular culture.

Elliott Landy Outdoor Art Display

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the greatest festival of all time, a selection of 12 portraits by iconic festival photographer Elliott Landy are displayed outdoors around the campus, highlighting figures of the classic rock era and the work of a long-time Museum partner and collaborator.

Crocheted Connections: Embracing Bindy

In 1969, the Bindy Bazaar was a marketplace and trail system that acted as the heart of the Woodstock festival. To celebrate this aspect of festival history and bring to life the art, craft, and sense of joy embodied by the Bindy Bazaar and the Festival itself, Bethel Woods presents a large-scale public art installation located in the historical footprint of the Bindy Bazaar Trails.

Past Special Exhibitions

  • 2009: Give Peace A Chance: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-in For Peace

    An intimate portrait of two very public people making a personal statement about Peace in a Montreal hotel room. The exhibition even included a recreation of the hotel room, where visitors would lie on the bed and listen to commentary on the bedside princess phone.

  • 2009: Old School: The Museum at Bethel Woods Custom Chopper

    From the popular television show, American Chopper, this Easy Rider-inspired chopper proclaimed the opening of the Museum at Bethel Woods to the world.

  • 2009: Robert Altman’s Sixties: Portrait of a Generation

    A colorful gallery-full of over-sized photographs of the people and vibes of the 1960s, from the camera of Rolling Stone photographer, Robert Altman.

  • 2009: Rock Heroes: Woodstock-Inspired Selections from Hard Rock International’s Music Memorabilia Collection

    The Museum’s first special exhibition, Rock Heroes featured guitars, costumes, and other memorabilia related to the Woodstock festival from the collection of Hard Rock International.

  • 2010: Collecting Woodstock: Recent Collections Acquisitions

    An engaging exhibition of some of the Museum’s Woodstock-related collection donations, which was focused on the donors.

  • 2010: Eddie Adams: Vietnam—Photographs by Pulitzer Prize-winning Photojournalist Eddie Adams

    Eddie Adams photos of the war in Vietnam, shot for Associated Press, showed the human side of the war, from the soldiers’ perspective.

  • 2010: The Wall That Heals: The Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Museum

    A fitting accompaniment to the Eddie Adams: Vietnam photo exhibition and a tribute to all who served. More than anything else, this 4-day-and-night exhibit, displayed on the lawn adjacent to the Museum, brought people together and really did heal old wounds.

  • 2011: Bob Dylan and The Band: From Woodstock to California, 1974–1976—Photographs by William G. Scheele

    Photographs of Bob Dylan and The Band’s triumphant return to touring in 1974 by their tour equipment manager, William Scheele.

     

  • 2011: Pig Light Show: The Music Visuals of Marc Rubinstein

    A video exhibition of liquid light show artist Marc Rubinstein, whose “Pig Light Show” was a frequent added attraction at the Fillmore East.

  • 2011: Spaced Out! The Final Frontier in Album Covers

    A whimsical look at album covers through the years that reflected the public’s infatuation with space exploration. From Experience Music Project.

  • 2011: Strange, Kozmic Experience: The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix—The Art and Artifacts of the Icons Who Defined a Generation

    Colorful exhibition from The Grammy Museum at LA LIVE, which boasted stage costumes, stage instruments, and personal effects, as well as iconic photographs of rock royalty Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Doors.

  • 2012: Across the Great Divide: Photographs by Roberta Price

    Life on a Colorado commune in the 1970s, as seen through the lens of Roberta Price, who initially documented the back-to-the-land lifestyle from the outside, then as a participant.

     

  • 2012: Byrd/Skolnick: A Tale of Two Posters

    The first-ever retrospective of David Edward Byrd and Arnold Skolnick, the artists who created the Woodstock posters. Exhibition examined a variety of original period Woodstock festival posters, the ongoing career of each artist, and an intriguing collection of posters inspired by the famous festival poster image.

  • 2012: Celebrating Woodstock: Photographs by Lisa Law

    Festival photographs by Hog Farm member Lisa Law.

  • 2013: Keeping Time: The Photography of Don Hunstein-The Unseen Archive of Columbia Records

    Spectacular photographs from Don Hunstein’s 30-year career as house photographer for Columbia Records from the 1950s through the 1980s. Included intimate portraits of Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, Leonard Bernstein, Aretha Franklin, and many more.

  • 2013: On Assignment: Woodstock—Photos by Rolling Stone Photographer Baron Wolman

    One hundred of the images that helped spur public interest in the Woodstock festival. Included the photos published in Rolling Stone immediately following the festival, as well as many never-before-seen images.

  • 2013: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone: The First 75 Covers

    The first seventy-five covers of the magazine that chronicled and helped define a generation.

  • 2014: America Meets The Beatles!

    A celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in the U.S. in 1964, featuring photographs by LIFE magazine photographer Bill Eppridge and Beatles memorabilia from the Rod Mandeville collection. 

  • 2014: Remembering Woodstock: A Timeline of Reunions

    Photos, clippings, and memorabilia telling the story of the official and unofficial celebrations of the Woodstock anniversaries and revivals through the past 45 years.

  • 2014: Speak Truth to Power

    In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the museum presented powerful, large-scale portraits of human rights activists around the world who have stood up to the powers to speak the truth. A project of Kerry Kennedy and photographer Eddie Adams, this exhibition was from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. 

  • 2014: Tom Gottsleben: What Goes Around Comes Around

    Five magnificent sculptures by artist Tom Gottsleben. Gottsleben’s stone and crystal sculptures are the engagingly accessible result of his intellectual, poetic, and metaphysical explorations.

     

  • 2015: Peace, Love, Unity, Respect: The Rise of Electronic Music Culture in America

    Inspired by the new sounds and crowds Mysteryland has brought to Bethel Woods, the Museum with guest curator, Daphne Carr, presented an exhibit on the history, aesthetics, and communities that have fostered electronic dance music in America. With music, lights, interactive festival artworks, costumes, and artifacts from disco, rave, club, and EDM culture, the exhibit was a  trip through 30 years of a musical culture that landed right outside our doors that spring.

  • 2015: THREADS: Connecting '60s & Modern Rockwear

    THREADS was drawn from the personal collection of designer, musician, and vintage clothing collector, Andy Hilfiger. It presented over 40 vintage outfits showcasing 1960s clothing and its influence on modern styles.

  • 2015: Written In Stone: Sculpture by Harry Gordon

    Four magnificent granite sculptures by renown artist Harry Gordon. Much of his current work draws from his earlier classical, figurative work, and it is possible to find remnants of the figure in his art. The ideas behind Harry's work are tied very closely to the material from which it is constructed. Using traditional, ancient mediums, he tries not to manipulate his materials beyond their natural state, imbuing them with an expression of dignity and grandeur to release their spirit.

  • 2016 Crossroads Gallery: Tonight on the Pavilion Stage: The First Ten Years

    To celebrate ten years since Bethel Woods opened its doors, the Crossroads Gallery exhibits photographs of each performance on the Pavilion Stage along with a number of eye-catching Hatch Show Print posters.  Reminisce about the first ten years, while looking forward to what the next ten years will bring!

  • 2016 Special Exhibit: Rights, Race & Revolutions: A Portrait of LIFE in 1960s America by Grey Villet

    The compelling photography exhibit of LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet, who traveled America and the world for LIFE magazine like an observant explorer, mapping its emotional contours in the faces and lives of its people. His in-depth, personal studies of the American scene of the 1950s and ’60s illuminated the complex reality of those years with a truth that, in his own words, were "as real as real could get." His images of presidents and revolutionaries, sports heroes, and everyday people struggling for their rights tell an emotional and compelling story of an era that shaped the present.

  • 2017 Special Exhibit: Love for Sale: The Commercialization of the Counterculture

    Drawn from the extensive popular culture collection of author and collector Michael Stern, LOVE FOR SALE examines the pervasive influence of the Counterculture on American popular culture and commerce.

    Using a 1970 suburban home as a backdrop, the exhibition shows how “peace, love, and free expression” became commonplace in living rooms, dining rooms, and children’s rooms across America and how the Counterculture was trivialized and marginalized in the process. Special sections of the exhibition feature everyday objects and uncommon artifacts of the commercialization of The Beatles, the commercial rise of drug culture, and the retail displays that helped create the hard sell.

    Drawn from the extensive popular culture collection of author and collector Michael Stern, LOVE FOR SALE examines the pervasive influence of the Counterculture on American popular culture and commerce.

    Using a 1970 suburban home as a backdrop, the exhibition shows how “peace, love, and free expression” became commonplace in living rooms, dining rooms, and children’s rooms across America and how the Counterculture was trivialized and marginalized in the process. Special sections of the exhibition feature everyday objects and uncommon artifacts of the commercialization of The Beatles, the commercial rise of drug culture, and the retail displays that helped create the hard sell.

  • 2018 Corridor Exhibit: Election '68: The Whole World Is Watching

    The exhibit explores the tumultuous 1968 presidential election in its 50th anniversary year by looking at several different angles. Crucial contextual events and movements like the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy provide a background for the election. Profiles on each candidate illustrate the wide scope of political views and experience. Information on the election itself and its aftermath bring guests through the heated events of 1968 and beyond. The exhibit is supported by a collection of campaign memorabilia, including political buttons (a major inspiration for the design scheme of the exhibit), bumper stickers, pamphlets, and a few more unique items you might not find anywhere else!

  • 2018 Special Exhibit: Peter Max: Early Paintings

    Featuring selections from the Casterline Family Collection and the Fireman Family Collection

    The art of Peter Max helped define the psychedelic 1960s, with its colorful imagery of gurus, sages, runners, flyers, Zen boats, snow-capped mountains, planets, stars, and sunbeams. His Cosmic posters were found in every college dorm room and in major museums across the globe. Peter Max has stayed in the public eye through five decades, but visitors to The Museum at Bethel Woods will have a rare opportunity to see inspiring artwork from a pivotal moment in the artist's illustrious career: the period from 1967 through 1972 when his work moved from nostalgic collage-inspired realistic paintings to his visionary, imaginative Cosmic creations. Peter Max: Early Paintings brings together for the first time the collections of Robert Casterline and Shelly Fireman.