2021 Special Exhibit

Lights, Color, Fashion: Psychedelic Posters and Patterns of 1960s San Francisco

Black Light Room

Adventures with Amber: Exploring the Special Exhibit

Amber is back to give you everything you need to know about our 2021 Special Exhibit: Lights, Color, Fashion. Learn more and visit soon - the exhibit is open everyday!

Adventures with Amber: Exploring the Special Exhibit

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exterior of museum at night lit up with colorful lights

Lights, Color, Fashion: Psychedelic Posters and Patterns of 1960s San Francisco

“For me, the posters were emblematic of an exciting new style of poster-making that was ‘outside the box’ of traditional poster forms… the posters were (and they remain) graphically and visually stunning.” - Collector Gary Westford

 

The exhibit showcases a phenomenal ensemble of San Francisco rock posters and fashion gathered by collector Gary Westford. Originally slated to open in spring of 2020, the exhibit truly signifies a light at the end of a tunnel for our programming. The collection highlights the kaleidoscopic years of 1964 to 1972, and features rock posters by all of the “Big Five” poster artists: Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, and Alton Kelley. Clothing ranging from designer to street fashion will illustrate the style and sense of self-expression from West Coast scene during the time.

Lights, Color, Fashion also features a ‘60s-style black light room for visitors to experience a dozen posters plus an Op art dress that has been printed using high-intensity color and fluorescing inks that appear to glow under black light. The designs of these posters cover all genres, from a Jimi Hendrix concert to Native American, African American, and Mexican American heroes to creative, complex geometric prints.

Complementing the exhibit, experience a light show by renowned San Francisco light artist Bill Ham. The fantastic backdrops created by Ham were frequently found at rock concerts during the era. The light show, set amid the exhibition and projecting on the wall, is sure to immerse the senses.

Additional works by a variety of other artists round out the collection and add unique styles and perspectives not often seen.

Admission to the Special Exhibit is included in your ticket to The Museum at Bethel Woods, or $5 standalone.

 

 

Go behind-the-scenes with curator Julia Fell

Past Special Exhibitions

  • 2009 Special Exhibits

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

  • 2010 Special Exhibits

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

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

    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.

    Collecting Woodstock: Recent Collections Acquisitions

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

  • 2011 Special Exhibits

    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.

    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 the Experience Music Project.

    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.

    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.

  • 2012 Special Exhibits

    Celebrating Woodstock: Photographs by Lisa Law

    • Festival photographs by Hog Farm member Lisa Law.

    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. The 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.

    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.

  • 2013 Special Exhibits

    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.

    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.

    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.

  • 2014 Special Exhibits

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

  • 2015 Special Exhibits

    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.

    Written In Stone: Sculpture by Harry Gordon

    • Four magnificent granite sculptures by renowned 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.

    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.

  • 2016 Special Exhibits

    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, was "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.

    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!

  • 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.

  • 2018 Special Exhibits

    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.

    Election '68: The Whole World Is Watching

    • The exhibit explored 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!

  • 2019 Special Exhibits

    We Are Golden: the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair

    • 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 used 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.

    We Are Stardust

    • This exhibit examines the objects and history surrounding the moon landing through the lens of everyday Americans at the end of the tumultuous 1960s.

  • 2020 Crossroads Exhibit Gallery

     Raising Our Voices: A Century of Women’s Rights in America

    One hundred years ago, women gained the right to vote in the United States. In honor of this anniversary, the exhibition will draw connections between the suffragettes, the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, and women’s rights activism today.

    Please note that due to spatial restrictions, this exhibit will not open until 2021.

  • 2020 Online Photo Exhibition

    Captured At A Distance Virtual Gallery

    • Featuring the work of ten high school photographers from throughout the county as part of Project: Identity Photography, this virtual gallery examines offers a glimpse into the home life of students before and during social distancing practices and stay-at-home mandates. Learn more here.

  • 2020 Outdoor Photo Installations

    Earth In Focus: A Celebration of Our Dynamic Planet

    • Featuring the work from photographers around the world, Earth in Focus commemorates Earth Day, the environmental movement's 50th anniversary, and strides made in preservation and sustainability. This outdoor art exhibition is located throughout the Bethel Woods campus, beginning by the campus entrance and continuing past the Main Gates. Learn more here.

    Elliott Landy: Woodstock and Beyond

    • Located just beyond the Market Shed buildings, 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.

  • 2020 Pop-Up Exhibit

    Good of the Hive

    • The Good of the Hive® was founded by artist Matthew Willey on a personal commitment to hand-paint 50,000 honeybees – the number necessary for a healthy, thriving hive – in murals around the world. The most recent addition? A swarm at the nonprofit cultural organization Bethel Woods Center for the Arts – located at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival. This pop-up exhibit stood at the historic site for one week only.