1969 | WAMC

1969

In celebration of Norman Rockwell Museum’s 50th Anniversary, they are looking back at the many ways illustrators portrayed news events and reflected popular culture in 1969. Norman Rockwell’s own work reflected the changing times with his iconic depiction of the moon landing, an album cover he painted for rock musicians, and a tribute to the final issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

The exhibition, "Woodstock to the Moon: 1969 Illustrated," combines original illustrations with vintage archival material. It will be on view at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts through October 27.

We learn more from Jesse Kowalski, Norman Rockwell’s Curator of Exhibitions as well as from Louis Mitchell, the Creative Director of Character Design at Sesame Street’s Sesame Workshop. There are many items from the Sesame Street in the exhibition.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy proposed the nation spend twenty billion dollars to land a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Based on eyewitness accounts and newly discovered archival material, "Chasing the Moon" by Robert Stone and Alan Andres, reveals for the first time the unknown stories of the fascinating individuals whose imaginative work across several decades culminated in America’s momentous achievement.

More than a story of engineers and astronauts, the moon landing, now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, grew out of the dreams of science fiction writers, filmmakers, military geniuses, and rule-breaking scientists.

According to author Mark Berger, Woodstock was the sixties condensed into seventy-two hours, and proof that peace and love could turn a potential disaster into a mythic celebration of life. Berger tells of that time in his memoir, "Something's Happening Here: A Sixties Odyssey from Brooklyn to Woodstock."

Arriving four days early, he helped set up kitchens and paths. During the festival, he worked to calm kids tripping out on bad acid, maneuvered a water truck through a sea of spectators, and fell in love, twice. After the festival, it’s decision time: Does he Berger drop out and move to a commune in New Mexico or return to Brooklyn and become a teacher? For Berger, at Woodstock it all comes together ― who he is, what he believes, and which path he has to take.

Berger will be reading from his book at The Book House in Albany, New York on May 16.

Caroline Leavitt’s new novel, Cruel Beautiful World is about coming of age in 1969; about wild love, rebellion, and finding oneself in the time of Woodstock and the Manson murders.

The novel is a haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.