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Jun 12 - Sep 02

Foam Museum
Keizersgracht 609
Amsterdam,1017 DSThe Netherlands
  • Jill Kennington, 1966. Photograph: John Cowan Archive

  • Traffic, 1960. Photograph: Norman Parkinson Archive

  • Jane Birkin, 1965. Photograph: Eric Swayne


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Swinging Sixties London exhibition at Foam museum, Amsterdam

The Foam Photography Museum in Amsterdam dedicates an exhibition to the ever-inspiring Swinging London of the 60’s, exploring how the British capital defined an era when everything seemed to be possible and changed the way we see fashion, music and style. Titled “Swinging Sixties London: Photography in the Capital of Cool”, the exhibition traces the changes in the celebrity culture, with models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton becoming as famous as any movie star; the fashion frenzy of the time, from the mini dresses an A-lines to the psychedelic patterns and futuristic styles; the role of the magazines in dictating the new trends, collaborating with the most prominent writers, photographers and artists; and the way bands like The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles defined the sound of the 60’s, influencing pop culture like no other.

The 60’s was a time of great social change, with a new generation of young people that had more disposable income than ever before leaving behind them the post-war depression, rebelling against all kinds of limitations and spending all their money on clothes and pop records. London was transformed from a grey, boring city to the vivid epicenter of music, style, culture and fashion. Its global influence was so big that in April 1966 Time Magazine dedicated an entire issue to London, calling it the “Swinging City”. “Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop,” wrote Piri Halasz in the magazine’s legendary cover story.

“Swinging Sixties London: Photography in the Capital of Cool” reflects the social and cultural change of the 60’s, offering a carefully curated selection of photos that capture the zeitgeist of the time. On display are Terence Donovan’s playful portraits of male and female models; Brian Duffy’s photos of celebrities like Mick Jagger, Jane Birkin, Grace Coddington and Michael Caine; John French and Norman Parkinson’s striking photos that had a major influence on their contemporaries; Eric Swayne’s intimate photos of rock stars and models; John Cowan’s dynamic fashion editorials; Philip Townsend’s photos of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones; as well as John Hopkins’ politically and socially charged images that perfectly document the youth culture of the 60’s. Last, but not least, a variety of film stills, music videos, fashion editorials, magazines and design items complement the exhibition, offering insight into the different cultural manifestations that defined the British capital in its heyday.