The Year That Fractured America

2024-04-20 - 2024-06-23


Save the date: Gallery talk with Amalie R. Rothschildan award-winning filmmaker and photographer noted for her documentaries about social issues as revealed through the lives of people in the arts, and for her music photographs from the Fillmore East, Woodstock, and other seminal rock events from 1968 to 1974: June 8, 4:30 pm. RSVP essential.

The most pivotal year of the 1960s, arguably, is 1964. That’s the year American culture fractured and eventually split along ideological lines, establishing the poles of societal debate that are still raging today. The Beatles led a British Invasion of popular music, Muhammad Ali, who called himself “The Greatest” shocked the world and became the heavyweight champion, three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi, and Fannie Lou Hamer declared “I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.” 1964 was a year of remarkable transition that prefigured 60 years of tumultuous change.

Sixty years ago, the United States was still recovering from the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 1964 was the year that fault lines in American society started to become visible.  Politics, civil rights, women’s rights, sexuality, inequality, poverty, Vietnam, and youth culture all became flashpoints in societal debate that prefigured 60 years of tumultuous change. Senator Barry Goldwater’s (nicknamed Mr. Conservative) campaign for President began a conservative revolution in the Republican Party that still affects and shapes the GOP and American politics today.

The exhibition 1964 draws from Monroe Gallery’s archive of photojournalism to explore the year the ‘60s really began.