I Want to Take You
‘I Want to Take You Higher: The Psychedelic Era 1965-1969’ was the first temporary exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The show explored the music, politics, style and art from the era, as well as their impact on society. Biber Architects created the exhibit design working with Michael Bierut’s design for the graphics, encompassing more than 500 artifacts, from record album covers and original Woodstock posters to Jimi Hendrix’s guitar and John Lennon’s Rolls Royce. The exhibit was held in the Ahmet Ertegun Exhibition Hall, where we established a flower-shaped exhibit floor plan. Each ‘petal’ of the flower encompassed a year of the era, individual displays within focused on particular aspects or events.
1965 is rendered in black and white, much like the low tech posters of the day.
1966 is all about video and the explosion of drugs and lifestyle
1967 is all about the music; perhaps the most significant year of rock & roll albums, ever
1968 is about fashion; polka dots set the mood for this year
1969 is all about Woodstock, the defining musical and cultural event of the 1960’s
Walking through a beaded curtain, the show opens with a pair of cars and a pair of cities:
London and San Francisco
John Lennon and Janis Joplin
A psychedelic Rolls Royce and a muraled Porsche
Each set against a photo background of their home cities.
The stem of the flower is lined with band names of the era, and the center of the flower is a spiral of music - the ‘Psychedelic 100’, curated by James Fricke.
It added up to a singular experience for an incomparable period in music and modern American culture. As Jann Wenner said, ‘it’s an exhibit worth licking’.