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1968: You Say You Want a Revolution

Hamilton College’s Emerson Gallery Offers 1968 Images and Icons

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Hamilton College's Emerson Gallery's "1968:YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION," opening Dec. 5, focuses on a year that was the epicenter of a decade's major culture-altering political and social events.  The exhibition, curated by 14 student participants in a seminar on the era's cultural consequences, includes hundreds of artifacts including posters, paintings, music, audio and video tracks, furniture, cartoons, clothing, books, newspapers, buttons, magazines, toys and other representative cultural icons of the era. 

Items for the show were gathered from the Emerson Gallery collection as well as from the Strong Museum (Rochester), the Memorial Art Gallery (Rochester), and Colgate University's Picker Art Gallery. Hamilton alumni, staff, faculty, and students also contributed many artifacts from long-forgotten attics and garage caches

Through a comprehensive and contextualized look at 1968, the students have sought to illustrate how the cultural revolution of the '60s was created and how international developments reflected back on it.  They reviewed the whole era, collecting pieces representative of major events and issues such as the civil rights movement, Vietnam, student activism, the sexual revolution, and feminist and gay rights. Some of the exhibition's unique items include: 

  • North Vietnamese toy that squeaks when the N. Vietnamese soldier's foot steps on the U.S. soldier's head
  • Warhol superstar Ultra Violet's burned bra
  • "Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came" poster 
  • Haight Ashbury Tribune and campus newspapers
  • Political Cartoons from the U.S., China, and the Soviet Union
  • Armed forces memorabilia including a Green Beret, conscientious objector papers, POW bracelet, draft card
  • Paper dresses 
  • An original copy of Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book" 
  • Sears Roebuck and Whole Earth catalogs

Music and video footage, shown on vintage retro-fitted sets, will be playing on a continuous loop. Viewers may relax on '60s furniture to watch and listen.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, opens on Dec. 5 and closes on Feb. 15.  A reception will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the gallery on Dec. 5. The Emerson Gallery is located on the Hamilton College campus in Clinton, New York, in the Christian Johnson Hall directly behind the chapel. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m..  For information, call (315) 859-4396. Hamilton College is a one-hour drive east of Syracuse and a four-hour drive northwest of New York City.

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