Friday, October 5, 2012

Protest posters exhibit at the Skirball Oct. 11

As Americans strive to make their voices heard this 
election season, Decades of Dissent: Democracy in Action, 1960–1980 
provides a colorful reminder of how artists in the 1960s and 1970s used 
protest posters as a vehicle for social change. Organized by the Center for 
the Study of Political Graphics, the exhibition displays twenty-eight 
original posters that address a range of compelling issues and showcase 
some of the most memorable images and slogans from that time period. 
Decades of Dissent will be on view at the Skirball October 11, 2012– 
February 17, 2013. 
The collection of posters in Decades of Dissent features many iconic 
bywords of the 1960s and 1970s, such as “Black is Beautiful,” “Make 
Love, Not War,” and “Ecology Now.” They commemorate significant 
historical events, including the first Gay-In and Earth Day (both in 1970), 
the United Farm Workers grape boycott, and 1969’s People’s Park 
struggle. Works by noted artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Sister 
Corita Kent are included, as well as such indelible imagery as the yellow 
sunflower of “War Is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things,” 
in both English and Vietnamese, and the swirly, psychedelic “Peace Now” 
Many of the posters in the exhibition illustrate important causes of the 
era, including the Vietnam War, the environment, and Mexican-American 
unionism. The posters also reflect emerging identity politics: feminism, 
the Black Is Beautiful” movement, the American Indian movement, gay 
rights, and the memorialization of World War II Japanese internment. 
Artistically, the posters reveal bright, bold pop art, psychedelic 
stylings, and casual, hand-drawn lettering.  
Insightful labels give historical context for each poster and detail the 
context in which each poster was created and displayed. Many posters 
are accompanied by quotes from their creators. Quoting James 
Baldwin, Sister Corita Kent eloquently frames the role of the artist in 
the political process: 
The war of an artist with his society is a lover's war. And he does at his 
best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself, and 
with that revelation, make freedom real.  
Decades of Dissent is part of a campus-wide initiative devoted to 
“Democracy Matters at the Skirball,” which includes the exhibitions 
Creating the United States and Free to Be U.S.: A First Amendment 
Experience, and a special “Lincoln Spotlight” on view in the Skirball’s 
core exhibition, Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to 
America. All are on view from October 11, 2012 through February 17, 
2012. For more information on “Democracy Matters at the Skirball” 
exhibitions and related programs, please visit 
About the Skirball Cultural Center 
The Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring the connections between 4,000 
years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It welcomes and 
seeks to inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity. Guided by our respective 
memories and experiences, together we aspire to build a society in which all of us can 
feel at home. The Skirball Cultural Center achieves its mission through educational 
programs that explore literary, visual, and performing arts from around the world; 
through the display and interpretation of its permanent collections and changing 
exhibitions; through an interactive family destination inspired by the Noah’s Ark story; 
and through outreach to the community.  
Visiting the Skirball Cultural Center 
The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049. Free on-site parking; 
street parking strictly prohibited. The Skirball is also accessible by Metro Rapid 761. Museum hours: Tuesday–Friday 
12:00–5:00 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. Admission to exhibitions: 
$10 General; $7 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $5 Children 2–12. Exhibitions are always free to 
Skirball Members and Children under 2. Exhibitions are free to all visitors on Thursdays. For general information, 
the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit The Skirball is also home to Zeidler’s Café, which 
serves innovative California cuisine in an elegant setting, and Audrey’s Museum Store, which sells books, 
contemporary art, music, jewelry, and more.  

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