Published: June 8, 2004
“Spirit of the Woodstock Generation: The Photographs of Elliott Landy” opens June 19 at the New York State Museum as part of a summer-long festival at the museum featuring a Woodstock concert series and special programs, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
The exhibition, in the museum’s Crossroads Gallery through September 6, will present more than 50 original photographs taken by Elliott Landy, official photographer of the Woodstock Festival. Striving to raise the awareness of Americans about the anti-war movement, Landy began photographing demonstrations against the Vietnam War in 1967 while working for underground newspapers in New York City. He felt a profound connection to the music of this era, and his growing reputation as a photographer gave him intimate access to some of the important musicians of that time. The exhibition includes photographs of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, Jim Morrison and others, along with images of the peace demonstrations.
The exhibition will be enhanced by objects from the museum’s own collections, along with others from key personalities of the Woodstock Festival and from the public. Many rdf_Descriptions were offered after the museum invited the community to loan Woodstock memorabilia for the exhibition. Objects on display will include such rdf_Descriptions as festival tickets, a program, poster and clothing worn at the festival, including a jacket and hat seen on the cover of Life magazine. There also will be objects from the private collection of Michael Lang, an organizer of the 1969 festival, such as the motorcycle Lang rode in an iconic scene from the movie Woodstock.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will also host a series of concerts, beginning in June, featuring musicians who performed on the 1969 Woodstock stage including Melanie, John Sebastian, Country Joe and former members of the Fish.
A panel discussion on Thursday, August 12, “Woodstock: The Music, the People and the Times,” will feature Landy, Lang and Joel Rosenman, who financed the 1969 festival along with the late John Roberts. They and other panelists will give perspective to this pivotal event in American history. The moderator will be Parry Teasdale, the editor of The Independent in Hinsdale, N.Y., who documented the original Woodstock festival using what was then revolutionary portable television technology.
The museum plans other programming throughout the summer, including a karaoke night, craft activities and a free tie-dye workshop on Saturday, August 10. Registration for the workshop is required by July 8 and may be made by calling 518-473-7154. Participants must bring a white or light-colored tee shirt.
To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the public is invited to attend “A Taste of New York” reception featuring foods and beverages from around New York State on Tuesday, June 22, from 7 to 9 pm. Special guests of the evening will include Melanie, who will perform some of her songs, Landy, and all of the surviving organizers of the 1969 festival – Artie Kornfeld, Rosenman and Lang.
The New York State Museum is located at the Empire State Plaza on Madison Avenue. For information 518-474-5877 or .
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