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These two videos from the YouTube stream of Kino Library, a boutique archival video licensing firm we’ve mentioned before, capture a little of the flavor of art openings in the Swingin’ London of the 1960s.

What’s amazing is that little has changed in fifty years as art openings are still dominated by celebrities (local or otherwise — here we see artist David Hockney, singer Marianne Faithfull, Op artist Bridget Riley, and others), people who want to stand out (usually with what they’re wearing), and crowds of people mostly looking at one another rather than the art.

If someone were to try to reinvent the art opening, I wonder what that would look like.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

6 replies on “Art Openings Never Change: 1960s London”

  1. I’ve been wondering the same thing about reinventing the art opening. Someone’s going to win a MacArthur Genius grant for doing this.

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