Exhibits in Special Collections

The Sixties: Remembering Who Was T/here

The Sixties. A magazine of poetry and opinion. From the Little Magazines Collection, Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library.Department of Special Collections, 976 Memorial Library

June 11 – August 10, 2018 

The 1960s in the United States is remembered as a time of transformation. Like today, the country was politically divided, and this division resulted in great outpourings of political and artistic energy. At the same time, historic cultural change was also underway, forever altering the aesthetics of American literature, music, art, and design. For instance, the decade saw the invention of “free jazz,” a genre coined for Ornette Coleman’s 1961 release of that name, which emphasize spontaneous improvisation. Seven years later, the psychedelic era was brought into the mainstream with The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe’s long-form nonfiction book about Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, and their use of LSD. These and scores of other examples from a decade full of change figure in the exhibit.

The Psychedelic Review began in 1963. From the Little Magazines Collection, Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library.

The Sixties: Remembering Who Was T/here links events in Madison to the larger national scene through books, record albums, photographs, and other documentary sources. Along the way, we highlight some of the individuals who enacted or stimulated change through their writing, music, or activism.

The exhibit features collection items from the Department of Special Collections, Mills Music Library, and University Archives. It was collaboratively curated by Susan Barribeau, Tom Caw, David Pavelich, and Carly Sentieri.

Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

The exhibit complemented the recent “The Madison Reunion. A Party With a Purpose” (June 14-16, 2018).

The University Archives and Madison Public Library also assisted leaders of the Madison Reunion in gathering individual stories and experiences from the 1960s through video and oral recordings.

A related exhibit, “Through a Magnum Lens: Photographing the 1960s,” is on display in Kohler Art Library through September 14, 2018.