The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art

Ursinus College

Collegeville, PA



Thirty Years of Rock and Roll: Photography by Larry Hulst


How deeply has Rock & Roll seeped into American culture? Classic rock songs are now used to sell cars, computer software, and toothpaste. In elevators and public restrooms you can hear the Doors and the Rolling Stones playing on Muzak systems.

Evolving out of the American jazz and blues movements, Rock & Roll has always had an attitude that both united teenagers and worried adults. With their suggestive lyrics and driving beat, the earliest Rock & Roll performers stirred up post-war America. Beginning in the 1960s, however, rockers began asking more challenging questions than "who put the bop in the bop she bop she bop?" Rock stars started singing about politics, racism, and war and, in general, began speaking out against the status quo. They also began to make a great deal of money. (left: Bob Dylan, 1976)

Thirty Years of Rock and Roll is an exhibit of seventy-five concert photographs taken by Colorado Springs photographer Larry Hulst and organized by the Colorado Springs Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado. These images capture the youthful exuberance and high emotions of rock performances. They also document how Rock & Roll has changed over the last three decades. The exhibition will open at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College on October 29 and will run through December 17, 2000. A Reception, open to the general public, is scheduled for Thursday November 9, 2000 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Included in the collection are early rockers Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. Members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who reflect the importance of the British invasion. Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and other folk musicians represent the conscience of Rock & Roll. While looking at images of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, one can almost hear their screaming blues guitars. Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd turned rock into an enormous industry, while Iggy Pop, Patty Smith, and other punk and new wave artists tried to tear it down.

This is not a complete history of Rock & Roll, but rather a study through the eyes of the photographer. Larry Hulst has been snapping photos at concerts for over 30 years and has attended approximately 2,800 shows. Hulst's stunning black and white images document the music's energy and emotion, and provide an aesthetic portrait of each musician's individuality. They capture both the public spectacle of the performance and the private style of the performer.

Read more about the Berman Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/6/11

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