Punk Never Dies, It Just Goes on Display

Joe Corré, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s progeny, plans to burn his $7 million collection of original punk artifacts, in protest of the mainstreaming of the anarchic social movement, epitomized by the Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing. Meanwhile, the British Library has delved into its own archive of the period — for the purpose of showing it to the public.

Starting with the impact of the Sex Pistols in 1976, the exhibition explores punk’s early days in the capital and reveals how its influence spread across music, fashion, print, and graphic design. Showcasing a range of fanzines, flyers, recordings, and record sleeves from the British Library’s collections — alongside rare material from the archives held at Liverpool John Moores University — it celebrates the enduring influence of punk as a radical musical, artistic and political movement.

Opened today, the exhibit includes DJ John Peel’s personal copy of the Undertones’ Teenage Kicks; original designs from Westwood and McLaren’s SEX shop, including the famous tits T-shirt; the leather jacket of Rat Scabies from The Damned; and a wall of a hundred 7-inch singles, many of them DIY releases.

Punk 1976 – 78, free admission, May, 13 – October 2, 2016, British Library, London

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