Traffic 1960 © Norman Parkinson
Famously known as ‘Swinging London’, London in the 60s was internationally renowned as the decade where anything went, fashion was at its most free and the idea of the ‘teenager’ was invented. Mary Quant invented the miniskirt and The Beatles and The Rolling Stones battled it out to become the world’s first most celebrated rock stars. A new exhibition at FOAM explores the work of the pioneering photographers of the day who captured the magic of fashion, art, music and photography in the Swinging Sixties In London (Photography In The Capital Of Cool).
Mick Jagger 1964 © Eric Swayne
The works of Terence Donovan, Brian Duffy, John French, Norman Parkinson, James Barnar, John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, John Cowan, Eric Swayne and Philip Townsend have been put on display; their timeless images are not only powerful and beautifully represent the free spirit of the decade, but also remain iconic portraits which immortalise idols such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Jane Birkin.
Duffy © Duffy Archive
Donovan’s fashion photography and narrating series moves smoothly onto Duffy’s portraits of 60s icons Jane Birkin (whose image appears in almost every photographer’s section), Grace Coddington and Mick Jagger. The importance of their photography as a form of imagery rebelling against the leading photographer’s style of John French and Norman Parkinson is wonderfully shown as paramount in the development of photography styles during the era.
Jane Birkin 1965 © Eric Swayne
The exhibition also examines the rise of the models and photographers as celebrities – with Twiggy being the perfect example. The rise of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Kinks as the defining sounds of the era is also explored, as well as how famous photographers helped launch the careers of many models and other subjects they shot.
Celia Hammond 1961 © Terence Donovan
From John Cowan’s photographs showing that generation’s optimism and defiance against their parent’s post-war conservatism to legend John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins’s famous images of youth culture and social change (particular his incredible shots of The Beatles at Teddington TV Studios in 1964) the exhibition could not have better demonstrated the overwhelming changes in fashion, music and popular culture during the 60s, through the eyes of the photographers who lived and breathed their art.
Swinging Sixties In London (Photography In The Capital Of Cool)
12 June – 2 September 2015
Foam Fotografiemuseum
Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 5516500

The Blue Wave 1966 – Duffy © Duffy Archive
Words by Annie Lunnon


Amsterdam, Art, Brian Duffy, Celia Hammond, Eric Swayne, fashion, FOAM Museum, Icons, James Barnar, Jane Birkin, John Cowan, John French, John Hoppy Hopkins, Keith Richards, Mary Quant, Mick Jagger, Norman Parkinson, Philip Townsend, Photography, Terence Donovan, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Swinging Sixties, Twiggy,