‘You Say You Want a Revolution?’ Visit The V&A Museum, London

No period of the 20th Century is so closely identified with tumultuous change as the 1960s. From music to fashion, politics to art, the 1960s redefined how generations defined themselves.

However, the real heart of those changes took place during the latter half of the decade. Now, a new exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London explores the cultural events and influences of those years with You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970.

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Covering multiple realms of 1960s culture, the focus of Revolution is examining how youth culture changed the course of history and challenged how generations, sexes and races dealt with each other. The exhibit embraces much of the period’s colorful, playful ultra-idealism, while occasionally confronting the foolishly childish optimism that the period’s young people took to Woodstock and other major events.

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The massive exhibition along one of the museum rows in London, the V&A’s Revolution offers more than 350 objects exploring the era’s photography, posters, literature, music, design, film, fashion, artifacts and performance records that defined the now-iconic counterculture to explore how a generation rejected the disciplines and occasional prejudice of their patents and grandparents to look at the world in a new way.

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The exhibit’s design is thoughtful and rich, essentially recreating the atmosphere of the 1960s via its historical records and museum pieces. There is so much detail and overwhelming sensory experience that you can imagine you are visiting the 1960s for a little while.

Of course, the doe-eyed, “give peace a chance” sing-songs of the 1960s didn’t bring an end to war, hate, racism or intolerance. It was an era that wondered how nice such a world might be after two decades of war in Europe and Asia. Political upheaval and economic injustices soon left 1960s denizens disillusioned and bitter come the 1970s and 1980s, but the 1960s seemed like a nice enough idea while it lasted.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 runs at the V&A through February 26, 2017.

All images courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.