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The Museum at Bethel Woods is Spaced Out!

Written by: FFT Webmaster | April 5th, 2011

Museum Reopens with Special Exhibit and Programming Exploring America’s Fascination With Space Through Album Covers and Music,
Beginning in April & through June

Bethel, NY – Continuing its commitment to the study, preservation and presentation of the Sixties, the Museum at Bethel Woods is proud to be the first to present, Spaced Out! The Final Frontier in Album Covers, a touring exhibition organized by Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, WA. The special exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first American in space and will be on display from Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 through Sunday, June 26th, 2011.

Spaced Out! The Final Frontier in Album Covers presents 117 space-themed record album covers that were released between 1940 and 1969 – the dawn of the space age.  In these post-war years, humanity seemed to be on the verge of taking a giant leap into space, and popular culture reflected this through futuristic album themes. Musicians flocked to the fad and space themes invaded album covers of different genres, including pop, jazz, folk and classical, reflecting on what people of this era imagined space would be like. The exhibition takes visitors back to when space was a mystery, and space exploration was adventurous and groovy.

Graphic design buffs, as well as vinyl record collectors and nostalgic baby boomers, will appreciate the exhibition for its history and unique graphic elements. The exhibit explores a variety of aspects of the fad, including musical themes and motifs found on the records and how excitement toward the space age was expressed in popular culture.

The exhibition also gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the instruments used on the albums, including the Theremin, which was used to make “space sounds.” A listening station will also be available for visitors to hear 20 tracks from the albums on display. Those interested in creating their own interpretation of a spaced out album cover can create their own version, complete with funky text, spaceships, planets and otherworldly objects.

Special exhibit highlights include:

  • 117 framed album covers
  • Gallery guides that list the albums and their details
  • Two listening stations with 20 tracks taken from the albums on display and booklets with short write-ups of the sample tracks
  • Theremin instrument interactive
  • Kaossilator instrument interactive
  • Album Cover Creation interactive
  • A silent film that mixes real-world space exploration with fictional representations
  • Lunar landing film

“We are excited about this collaboration with Experience Music Project to bring Spaced Out! to Bethel Woods,” said Wade Lawrence, Museum Director. “It’s a fun exhibit that will remind us how fascinated we all were by the prospect of space travel, distant worlds, and the fantasy of a technological future.”

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Fisher Mears Associates and Larry & Shain Fishman. General support of The Museum at Bethel Woods is provided by ShopRite Supermarkets, Rolling V Bus Corp, and Giselle & Jeffrey Gerson.

In conjunction with the special exhibit, the Museum’s Spring Speaker & Film Series will present programming that will comment on different aspects of outer space in American public consciousness, as well as highlight important themes in the special exhibit to provide audiences with a deeper understanding and appreciation of its historical and artistic context.  All Spring Speaker & Film events will be presented Saturdays in April. Tickets for the Speaker series are $5.00 per person (free to Bethel Woods members), and tickets for the Retro Film series are $8.00 per person ($6.00 for Bethel Woods members).

Retro Space Films Include:

–          The Day the Earth Stood Still – Saturday, April 9th

–          2001:  A Space Odyssey – Saturday, April 16th

–          Planet of the Apes – Saturday, April 23rd

–          The Andromeda Strain – Saturday, April 30th

Spring Speakers Include:

–          Megan Prelinger, Author, Another Science Fiction:  Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962 – Saturday, April 23rd at 2:00pm

The Museum has also created a way for former Woodstock attendees to get involved and be a part of the history by creating “Connecting Woodstockers”, a Woodstock Alumni Registry. Now anyone who attended the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair has the opportunity to become a part of the Museum archive, and the permanent history of the festival, by joining an exclusive Woodstock attendee database. Festival attendees may visit the Bethel Woods homepage to access the “Join the Woodstock Alumni Registry” page and complete a survey about their experience at the festival.  All information contained in the Registry will become part of a searchable museum archive about festival attendees, and will be used by scholars, educators, students and the general public to enrich their understanding about the festival and decade.

Admission to the Museum is $15.00 per person for adults, $11.00 per person for seniors (65 years and older), $9.00 per person for youths (8 – 17 years), $4.00 for children (3 – 7 years) and free to children under 3 years of age. The special exhibition is included in the regular Museum admission.

For more information on the special exhibit, The Museum, and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, please visit

Museum Information:

2011 Spring Hours (April 2, 2011 – May 27, 2011) – Open Thursday – Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm

2011 Summer Hours (May 28, 2011 – September 5, 2011) – Open Monday – Sunday, 10:00am to 7:00pm

2011 Fall/Winter Hours (September 8, 2011 – December 31, 2011) – Open Thursday – Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm

The museum will have special extended hours on Columbus Day and the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

NOTE: Museums tickets will be sold each day until 1.5 hours before closing time on regular open days and until 1 hour before concert start time on typical concert days. Please call ahead to verify museum hours on concert days. Access to the grounds is closed on pavilion concert days. The monument is still accessible on these days via West Shore Road.


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