Levi’s sponsored this exhibition, so if you’re the sort of museum-goer who likes the shopping best, the pair of jeans you are supposed to buy is the Levi’s 505, the same style proto-punk band The Ramones wore and which featured, thanks to Andy Warhol, on the cover of the Rolling Stones’ not-very-good album Sticky Fingers.
Album covers abound at this show, which is too crowd-pleasey at times… a warm-up act for the upcoming Pink Floyd retrospective. There are poignant moments, however. Curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh are concerned with the white heat of liberalism in the period. Britain in 1965: homosexuality and abortion were outlawed, only married women could get the pill, divorce was out of reach of most, racial discrimination was a national pastime and there was still censorship in the theatre. The spirit of tolerance threatened now by UKIP et al. arrived in this shifting, surging half-decade. If you want to learn where freedom of choice came from, this isn’t a bad place to start.