Glam Rock Exhibition Book

mnadi426

THE LASTING IMPRESSION OF SELF EXPRESSION

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HiSTORY

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JUNE 6TH –AUGUST 3RD

THE LASTING IMPRESSION OF SELF EXPRESSION

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HSTORY

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Index

17 .......................................... Timeline

23 .................... Museum Information

26 .............................. Exhibit Layout

33 .......................................... Imagery

36 .............................................. Music

43 ............................ Makeup History

55 ............................. Bowie’s Impact

65 ....................... Historical Context

73 ....................... Fashion Influences

85 .................... Lasting Impressions

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WHAT IS GLAM ROCK?

Glam rock is a style of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom in the

early 1970s performed by musicians who wore outrageous costumes, makeup,

and hairstyles, particularly platform shoes and glitter. Glam artists drew on diverse

sources across music and throwaway pop culture, ranging from bubblegum pop and

1950s rock and roll to cabaret, science fiction, and complex art rock.The flamboyant

clothing and visual styles of performers were often camp or androgynous, and have

been described as playing with nontraditional gender roles. “Glitter rock” was

another term used to refer to a more extreme version of glam.

The UK charts were inundated with glam rock acts from 1971 to 1975, with glam

also manifesting in all areas of British popular culture during this period.The

March 1971 appearance of T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan on the BBC’s music show

Top of the Pops, wearing glitter and satins, is often cited as the beginning of the

movement. Other British glam rock artists include David Bowie, Freddie Mercury

of Queen, Mott the Hoople, Sweet, Slade, Elton John, Mud, Roxy Music and Gary

Glitter. In the US the scene was much less prevalent, with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed

the only American artists to score a hit. Other US glam artists include New York Dolls,

Iggy Pop and Jobriath. It declined after the mid-1970s, but influenced other musical

genres including punk rock, glam metal, New Romantic, and gothic rock and has

sporadically revived since the 1990s.

Glam rock can be seen as a fashion as well as musical subgenre. Glam artists rejected

the revolutionary rhetoric of the late 1960s rock scene, instead glorifying decadence,

superficiality, and the simple structures of earlier pop music. Artists drew on such

musical influences as bubblegum pop, the brash guitar riffs of hard rock, stomping

rhythms, and 1950s rock and roll, filtering them through the recording innovations

of the late 1960s.

Victorian literary and symbolist styles, science fiction,

to ancient and occult mysticism and mythology;

manifesting itself in outrageous clothes, makeup,

hairstyles, and platform-soled boots. Glam is most noted

for its sexual and gender ambiguity and representations

of androgyny, beside extensive use of theatrics.

It was prefigured by the flamboyant English

composer Noël Coward, especially his 1931 song

“Mad Dogs and Englishmen”, with music writer

Daryl Easlea stating, “Noël Coward’s influence

on people like Bowie, Roxy Music and

Cockney Rebel was absolutely immense. It

suggested style, artifice and surface were

equally as important as depth and substance.

Time magazine noted Coward’s ‘sense of

personal style, a combination of cheek and chic,

pose and poise’. It reads like a glam manifesto.”

Showmanship and gender identity manipulation acts

included the Cockettes and Alice Cooper, the latter of

which combined glam with shock rock.

Ultimately it became very diverse, varying between the simple rock and

roll revivalism of figures like Alvin Stardust to the complex art pop of

Roxy Music.[8] In its beginning, however, it was a youth-oriented

reaction to the creeping dominance of progressive rock and

concept albums – what Bomp! called the “overall denim

dullness” of “a deadly boring, prematurely matured

music scene”.

Visually it was a mesh of various styles,

ranging from 1930s Hollywood glamour,

through 1950s pin-up sex appeal,

pre-war cabaret theatrics,

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GLAM ROCK

TIMELINE

David Bowie

releases The Rise

Debatably the

start of the Glam

Rock era, The

Beatles release

their single

Sergeant Pepper’s

Lonely Hearts Club,

showing off

electrically bright

military style uniforms

on a highlighter yellow

album cover.

Slade releases their

first top chart hit, Get

Down & Get With It,

putting their

eccentric rock

sound (and look)

on the map.

and Fall of Ziggy

Stardust and the

Spiders from Mars,

iconic album and

revolutionary

inspiration for glam

rock. The term

“glam” gets coined

for the rising genre.

T-Rex has their 5th hit,

Telegram Sam, and

became immensely

popular in England. The

single cover features a

bright red and deep blue

color scheme.

Bowie releases “Rebel,

Rebel,” premiering his

iconic Halloween Jack

look. He also begins

his Thin White Duke

style, sporting

usually all-white

ensembles.

Aladdin Sane,

featuring an album

cover with his signature

lightning bolt face makeup

continues to influence Glam Rock.

Sometimes called the

year Glam Rock died in

England. Slade disbanded,

T-Rex had their final

hit, Glitter Band

begins an era of

ballads, and the

previous fanbase

begins to turn

toward the darker

punk rock scene.

AC/DC releases

their first album

this year with

heavy dark face

paint, a visual ode

to the costumey

looks of the Glam

Rock era.

Freddie Mercury rocks a

pair of tight red leather

pants and heavy

eyeliner during the

era before his

unforgettable

yellow military

jacket.

Leggings became an

acceptable form of pants

during the 70’s and 80’s

from popular media like

Glam Rock as well as the

musical Grease when

Sandy wears a shiny

black pair of pants.

Then became popular

again in recent years

in the form of

patterned leggings

and yoga pants.

Michael Kors

releases a fall

sparkler dress

reminiscent of

Freddie Mercury’s

campy wardrobe.

Ezra Miller sports a

“Glam Rock Swan”

red carpet ensemble

and continues to look

back at the

androgynous

years of the

Glam Rock era.

The Etsy market of custom

bedazzled high heels continues

to flourish despite the overall

American trend towards

modern minimalism.

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GLAM IS HISTORY.

The National Museum of American

History is leading the way in how history

museums present the compelling ideas

and ideals that make America unique

by developing new exhibitions and

programs with intellectual depth. The

museum underlines the extraordinary

experiment—Of the People, By the

People, For the People—that has

reverberated through the centuries—

grounded in freedom, possibility, and

opportunity, tempered by conflict, and

strengthened by dissent and difference.

Exhibitions, engaging multimedia, and

provocative programs presented in

special spaces designated for public

discourse and worldwide webcast/

broadcast will introduce and interweave

key themes such as Innovation,

Democracy, Migration/Immigration,

and Culture. Visitors will expand their

understanding of how American identity

has evolved and keeps renewing itself,

imbued with a recognizable spirit of

self-determination, risk-taking, and

perseverance.

The transformation of the Smithsonian’s

National Museum of American History

continues with a major project to renew

the building’s 120,000-square-foot west

exhibition wing. The plans feature new

galleries, an education center, and interior

public plazas and performance spaces,

as well as modernized infrastructure

in this section of the building. A new

panoramic window on the first floor will

give a sweeping view of the Washington

Monument and connect visitors to the

National Mall’s landmarks.

In season, the Museum’s 5th floor

rooftop terrace with fabulous views of

the National Mall is also available for

daytime events, evening events, and

wedding receptions for 300 guests. The

museum can be rented for events hosting

anywhere from 10 to 3,500 guests in a

variety of newly renovated event spaces

chosen to fit your group.

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“I find only

freedom in

the realms of

eccentricity.”

David Bowie

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GLAM

ROCK

FASH IO N

THE LASTING

IMPRESSION

OF SELF

EXPRESSION

JUNE 6

UNTIL

AUGUST 3

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“It’s the

best fun

I’ve ever

had in

my life.”

“It was a big jump from

being a blues band in

t-shirts and jeans with

long hair and beards to

wearing make-up and

flashy clothes.”

- Dave Hill, lead vocalist of Slade

- Trevor Bolder, English rock musician

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Morgan Nadin 2019 | For educational use only.

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