V&A: You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970

“You say you want a revolution…

Well, you know…

We all want to change the world”

-The Beatles, Revolution, 1968


From 10 September 2016 – 26 February 2017, the V&A will present a major exhibition exploring the era-defining significance and change to come from the late 1960s to the fast life we know today – from global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality to neoliberalist politics, the world was forever changed by five revolutionary years between 1966 – 1970.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 examines the upheaval, sudden liberation, and legal changes resulting from the fundamental shift in the mindset of the Western world, during a time of heightened freedom. The exhibition explores the way that youth culture catalysed an optinimistic idealism, drawing people together and driving them to question established power structures across every aspect of society.

A collection of more than 350 objects of photography, posters, literature, music, design, film, fashion, artefacts, and performance that defined the counterculture will illustrate the way that a whole generation shook off the confines of the past, particularly the reign of their parents, radically revolutionising the way they lived their lives.

Highlights will show the creative and social layers of revolutionary new ways of living, including underground magazines from Oz to the International Times; a shopping list written behind barricades during the 1968 Paris student riots; a moon rock on loan from NASA alongside the space suit worn by William Anders, who took the defining ‘Earthrise’ photograph on the Apollo 8 mission; a rare Apple 1 computer; an Ossie Clark costume for Mick Jagger; original artworks by Richard Hamilton; shards from Jimi Hendrix’s guitar; the suits worn by John Lennon and George Harrison on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and handwritten lyrics for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles. Martin Roth, Director of the V&A, says,

This ambitious framing of late 1960s counterculture shows the incredible importance of that revolutionary period to our lives today. This seminal exhibition will shed new light on the wide-reaching social, cultural and intellectual changes of the late 1960s which followed the austerity of the post-war years, not just in the UK but throughout the Western world. Our collections at the V&A, unrivalled in their scope and diversity, make us uniquely placed to present this exhibition.

The exhibition is curated by Geoffrey Marsh, Director of the V&A’s Dept of Theatre and Performance and Victoria Broackes, curator in the Dept of Theatre and Performance and Head of Performance Exhibitions, and is presented in partnership with Levi’s®; with a sound experience by Sennheiser and additional thanks to the Grow Annenberg Foundation, Fenwick and Sassoon 10.


Need to know:

  • Tickets are on sale now. Advance booking advised – visit the V&A in person, online or by call 0800 912 6961
  • V&A Members attend free.
  • The V&A is open daily from 10.00 – 17.45 and until 22.00 every Friday

Shop Shop:

A range of products inspired by the exhibition will be available from the V&A Shop in store and online at the V&A shop

Get Social:

  • vam.ac.uk/revolution | #RecordsandRebels
  • victoriaandalbertmuseum @V_and_A @vamuseum


Pictured at top: Che Guevara © Alberto Korda; Twiggy, 1967. Photo by Bert Stern. © Estate of Bert Stern. Used with permission of Bert Stern Trust; Germaine Greer, Photo by Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns/Getty Images; Andy Warhol © Greg Gorman/Contour By Getty Images; Jimi Hendrix © Joe Roberts Jr; John Lennon © Larry Smart; Allen Ginsberg, 11th June 1965, photograph by John Hopkins © Estate of John Victor Lindsey Hopkins.


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