We had the immense pleasure of being invited to the grand opening of the Revolution exhibit put together by the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. From the moment I set foot in the hall, I was brought back to the moment my parents bought me my first Beatles album (I was in 4th grade), the time I kept (and still have) the newspaper announcing the passing of George Harrison, and all of the musical discoveries and historical moments that I had researched as a child, being so intrigued and passionate about the 60s.
Housed in the Michal & Renata Hornstein Pavilion, the entrance to the Revolution exhibit is grand. Walking up the marbled staircase, you are greeted by a giant psychedelic Revolution banner in a font that is oh so associated with the Flower Power and Groovy times… Also Austin Powers… Speaking of which, I do think I saw his frilly blouse somewhere in the showcase.
You are handed a set of Sennheiser headphones and mp3 pack and are encouraged to put in on while going up the staircase to the entry of the exhibit. The idea is that this exhibit is a fully immersive one, where you are surrounded by music and Tv/movie excerpts of the era.
The layout itself is particular, starting in the Swinging 60s in London’s underground, moving then to Paris, San Francisco, Quebec, and Woodstock, to then show rooms full of home décor, art, and vintage fashion items; there are just about 700 objects and works of art that are on display.
You are brought back into the thick of the decisive moments of the 60s that have allowed us to live freely as we do now. While exploring, we are made aware of six distinct revolutions that took place: revolution of youth identity, revolution in the head, revolution in the streets, revolution in consumerism, revolution in society, and revolution in communication. More specifically, topics such as the consumer society, the Vietnam War protests, the civil rights movements, the sexual revolution, and counterculture are all brought to life through this impressive exhibit.
There is so much to soak in and to explore; it is a must-see exhibit, not just for the Beatles fans, and fans of the Swinging 60s: it is an exhibit that will resonate with everyone and anyone due to its strong message of standing up for our rights as one.
The Revolution exhibit is part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary exhibits, and will be going on until October 9th. You can purchase your tickets here to go see it for yourself! It is definitely a must for this summer!