Culture/Counterculture Exhibit Marks 50 Years Since the Kent State Shootings

Kent State University Museum Features ‘Culture/Counterculture’ Exhibit

The Kent State University Museum’s latest exhibition, “Culture/Counterculture: Fashions of the 1960s and ’70s,” coincides with the 50th anniversary of Kent State’s shootings on May 4, 1970, and focuses on the generational gap during that time.

The exhibit contrasts high-end fashion of the establishment and pieces worn by celebrities including Dinah Shore and Miss America Bess Myerson against the variety of youth styles, including DIY designs, globally inspired looks and pieces that pushed the traditional distinction between men and womenswear. Garments worn by entertainers and style icons Diana Ross and Jimi Hendrix are also highlighted in the exhibit. 

“The museum’s collection is very strong in dresses owned by socialites and celebrities of the 1960s and ’70s, particularly because the founders Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman were important figures in the New York fashion industry during that period,” said Sara Hume, Ph.D., Kent State University Museum curator, in a statement. “We have supplemented the museum’s holdings with pieces borrowed from people in the community as well as other institutions, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Ohio History Connection, in order to show the real diversity of dress.” 

Many styles that are still worn today have roots in the counterculture of the 1960s. The museum hopes that the exhibit will appeal to patrons of all ages. Many of the tensions of that period focused on questions of race, gender identity and military involvement – all of which are still relevant today.

“For visitors who remember the 1960s and ’70s, this show should bring back memories,” Hume said. “For those too young to have lived through it, the show should expand some of the stereotypical ideas about the period.” 

The exhibition will run through Sept. 6, 2020.

Learn more about the exhibit.


Photo provided by the Kent State University Museum.

Monday, September 23, 2019