UVa Library Press Releases 1997 - 1998
THE PSYCHEDELIC SIXTIES:
LITERARY TRADITIONS AND SOCIAL CHANGE
Contact: Kathryn Morgan at (804) 924-4965 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlottesville, Va, March 24, 1998 -- A new exhibit, "The Psychedelic Sixties: Literary Traditions and Social Change," will open in the McGregor Room in Alderman Library at the University of Virginia on April 1 and run through Sept. 15. The McGregor room is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
On display will be books, broadsides, serial publications, underground comics, handbills, posters, rock albums, and newspaper headlines from the 1960s era, as well as important earlier literary works that influenced the period. The library's Department of Special Collections has mined two of its richest literary collections for the items shown in the exhibit: the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature and the Marvin Tatum Collection of Contemporary Literature.
Highlights include first editions of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass," Hart Crane's "The Bridge," Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," Jack Kerouac's "On The Road," Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," Richard Brautigan's "Trout Fishing In America," Michael McClure's "The Beard," and Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five." Manuscript material includes a page from William Burroughs' "Memoirs," Kerouac's first draft of "On The Road" (on loan from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin), and a corrected typescript of the poem "The Grand Gladiola," inscribed to Ginsberg, by Gregory Corso.
Much of the material shown to depict social and political causes was drawn from the library's Social Movements Collection. The University Archives was the source for material relating to protest at the University of Virginia.
Many of the social, political, and philosophical concerns expressed in the 1960s had roots that extended back to the mid-19th century, when poets and writers such as Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller explored such issues as civil rights, the environment, communal living, eastern spirituality, women's rights, civil disobedience, pacifism, and holistic education, according to George Riser, curator of the exhibit. Their ideas began to resonate in the early 20th century in the works of artists such as Hart Crane, Ezra Pound, Henry Miller, and William Carlos Williams. In turn, these writers would prove to have a major influence on the Beat writers Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Kerouac, among others, who in turn were sources of inspiration for the artists that came to flower during the '60s.
The exhibit will look at the early "psychedelic" period, represented by Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary, and follow the artists who gained influence though the mid- and late- '60s, represented through their literary efforts. A number of social and political issues will be examined including the civil rights movement, the conflict in Vietnam, women's rights, the environment, gay liberation, campus unrest, radical protest, mainstream media's assessment of hippies, and protest at the University of Virginia. The exhibit will conclude with a look at the Woodstock music festival that symbolized the era.
The online version of the exhibit by Josie Pipkin can be found at : http://www.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/sixties
Contact: Kathryn Morgan (804-924-3025) or George Riser (804-924-7556)