Survival of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion is the impetus for a 50th anniversary celebration to acknowledge the Women’s Junior League that saved the Lockwood-Mathews’ home from demolition. A part of the celebration will be an exhibition, a retrospective of the fascinating and tumultuous decade of the 1960s, which will feature artists’ work based on their interpretations of 1960s.
The Sixties were the years of throw-away furniture, clothing, drugs, free love and demolishing buildings of significance. Born during this era, new techniques . . . molded, colorful plastics, designs of novelty and glass box-like structures. The industrial aesthetic and high tech became the rage, especially for loft-lovers who enjoyed occupying and living and working in those huge industrial spaces. With the advent of the birth control pill, the decade was labeled the Swinging Sixties because of the libertine attitudes that emerged.
Social change saw the American Civil Rights movement, the rise of feminism and gay rights. The counterculture movement dominated the second half of the 1960s, its most famous moments being the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967, and the Woodstock Festival in upstate New York in 1969.
Psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, were widely used medicinally, spiritually and recreationally throughout the late 1960s, and were popularized by Timothy Leary with his slogan “Turn on, tune in, drop out“. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters also played a part in the role of “turning heads on”. Psychedelic influenced the music, artwork and films of the decade, and a number of prominent musicians died of drug overdoses (see 27 Club). There was a growing interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, and many attempts were made to found communes, which varied from supporting free love to religious puritanism.
Along with artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol appropriated images from commercial art and popular culture as well as the techniques of these industries. Often called “pop artists“, they saw mass popular culture as the main vernacular culture, shared by all irrespective of education.
Read in Connecticut Plus where Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s events are spelled out. 295 West Ave. Norwalk, CT 06850 – 203-838-9799. Dates: October 8, 2016 – January 8, 2017. Watch for details.