Thursday, August 20th, 2015...10:00 am

Observer-ing the 60s

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 This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

Img0013Color supplements to established newspapers were first produced in the 1960s and are believed by many to have changed the face of newspapers.  Many thought that a color magazine would cheapen the journalistic integrity of the Observer, a British publication, but economic realities soon forced them to join the crowd.  The Observer began producing color supplements in 1964 amidst a new world of prosperity and possibility which seemed easily attainable with the great machine of advertising behind it.   The first issue was 64 pages, 30 of which were in full color and half of the magazine featured advertisements for products like cars, sofas, whiskey, anti-wrinkle creams, and dishwashers.  This particular issue of the Observer supplement is from December 3, 1967 and really seems to speak to the chaotic nature of this time period when the younger generation often appeared to the older as a riot of symbols and images.

Img0015Within this issue “Poster Power” was an article that explored how the new artists of the Underground adopted the disposable poster as their medium of expression.  This particular scene was staged by Peter Blake, a painter, and Jan Howarth, and you can’t help but be struck by the diversity and variety of the posters.  They are in essence trying to capture the spirit of the ’60s by displaying the artistic choices of the people involved and the emerging pop art movement of the day.  If one wanted to know about the music scene this article about Jimi Hendrix chronicles his performances in England and his “dangerously” wild spirit.

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To get a closer look at the other color articles or get a sense of popular advertising from the 1960s look for Observer [London : s.n.,1964- c1987] which can be found in Widener Library.

Thanks to Alison Harris, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post.

 

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