One of this season's sleepers is a photography show revealing a decade where The Beatles ruled and an era which continues to make waves. Photographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono play a central role in the exhibition by Irish photographer Susan Wood exhibited at the East Hampton Historical Society's Mulford Barn. So do the fashions, pop culture and those who were fab at the time.
With John Lennon's birthday falling on October 9, visiting the exhibition couldn't be more apropo (Lennon would have turned 75 years old on October 9, 2015). Lennon was shot outside his New York City apartment in 1980. He was 40 years old.
On view through October 17, 2015, "Right On! The Lennon Years, Photographs by Susan Wood 1968 – 1978" captures the decade through images that capture the vibe on the street and icons in the arts, music, fashion, literature, and politics. Wood's candid photography style contributes to revealing "what it was like", providing an intimate look that moves beyond time capsule. The show is curated by Irish photographer Deirdre Brennan.
“I came of age in Ireland looking at images of New York in the 1970s: the mood, the clothes, the films, and TV series," said Brennan. "In curating Susan’s work, I wanted to show the breadth of the subject matter Susan has covered, and of course to include the years that she photographed John and Yoko — the Lennon years. Susan’s images during this period are synonymous with the 1970s.”
Susan Wood’s editorial, advertising, and fashion photography has appeared in titles such as Look, Vogue, People, The New York Times and New York Magazine. She is known for her portraits of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Susan Sontag, and Diane von Furstenberg. Wood is also known for her candid pictures of art and political personalities, including Jane Fonda, Daniel Ellsberg, Teddy Kennedy, and Tom Wolfe along with fashion tastemakers Ralph Lauren and Gloria Vanderbilt.
Models including Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, and the original Bond Girl, Maud Adams, are also among Wood's subjects.
The show is a match for the East Hampton Historical Society on at least two levels: the exhibition is a historical one and Wood is a part time resident of Amagansett.
“This exhibition exposes us to fashion, music, literature, and eccentrics (be they famous or not) that create an environment of photographs that become a narrative of the times," said Richard Barons, Director of the East Hampton Historical Society. "And what makes it even more alluring is that it will be on display for the first time in an authentic 17th-century barn, at one of the oldest farmsteads on Long Island.”
In addition to intimate scenes from John Lennon and Yoko Ono's early relationship are photographs of actors Dennis Hopper, Karen Black, Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, model Cheryl Tiegs, writer Tom Wolfe and others.
Susan Wood’s work represents a number of milestones in American photography over a period of more than 30 years. Her pictures appear in publications worldwide and can be seen on the Web sites of The Library of Congress, Getty Images, and SusanWood.com. Her work has appeared in many other periodicals including Vogue, Life magazine, Look magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine.
Susan Wood was a founding member of the Women’s Forum and was involved in the fight for women’s rights and equality in the 1960s and 1970s. She also was friends with many of the vanguard of the feminist movement, including Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem.
Although her most famous magazine cover is an epochal photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Look, she also is known for her movie stills. Under contract to Paramount Pictures, United Artists, and 20th Century Fox, Ms. Wood was on set and on location during the filming of movies that defined the 1960s, such as “Easy Rider.”
Susan Wood has been represented by Getty Images since 2004 and her editorial work from the 1960s and 1970s continues to be published around the world in places such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The London Times, Newsweek, and MTV.
BASIC FACTS: "Right On! The Lennon Years Photographs by Susan Wood 1968 – 1978" remains on view through October 18, 2015. The Mulford Farm Museum is located at 10 James Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937. www.easthamptonhistory.org.
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