Events — 6 Jan 2019

On the occasion of the last day of the exhibition "Amsterdam, The Magic Center - Art and Counterculture 1967-1970", prof. Geert Buelens will give a lecture on the myths of the sixties.
Museumticket + €5
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Teijin Auditorium
6 Jan 2019, 1.30 pm until 3.30 pm
Main language

On the occasion of the last day of the exhibition Amsterdam, The Magic Center - Art and Counterculture 1967-1970, prof. Geert Buelens will give a lecture on the myths of the sixties. Buelens wrote the book 'De Jaren Zestig. A Cultural History' which takes us back in time, but also helps us to look at the present. Where the exhibition focuses on Amsterdam, Geert Buelens places this period in a larger, international context.

The exhibition Amsterdam, The Magic Center offers the Stedelijk looks beyond these widely-known facts, offering fresh insights into the transnational developments of the era, and exploring Amsterdam as a vibrant international hub and laboratory for artistic and social innovation. The experimental and creative protests, by groups such as Provo and Dolle Mina were highly optimistic. However, the topics they were dealing with are still relevant today.

Where did that playful art scene in Amsterdam suddenly come from? Why was this counterculture not only playful but sometimes also remarkably violent? And what do we notice today from its legacy? During his lecture, Geert Buelens will focus on these and other questions.

After the lecture, the Stedelijk guides will take you through the exhibition for a tour.


Featuring works from the museum collection, the show sheds new light on the radical innovations and artistic and social experiments of the era. Counterculture, experimentation and the spirit of the underground emerge from the shadows and define the city’s cultural life from 1967 onwards. The Stedelijk Museum, that had become a home for the avant-garde after the war, plays a dual role: on the one hand, in the guise of modern champion, it advocates the new (with exhibitions such as Op losse schroeven in 1969), yet the critical contingent labels it a conservative bastion of elitist art.
You can read more about the exhibition here.

The afternoon ends with a tour through the exhibition by one of our tour guides. The groups consist up to 15 people and will be assembled at the beginning of the event.


Doors open
Lecture by Geert Buelens
Questions from the audience
Guided tours through Amsterdam, The Magic Center
End of program


Prof.dr. Geert Buelens is professor of Modern Dutch Literature at Utrecht University, guest professor of Dutch Literature at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). In March 2018, his latest book ‘De jaren zestig. Een cultuurgeschiedenis’ (Ambo/Anthos) was published, an attempt to view the cultural development in this celebrated decade from a global perspective. For the Stedelijk’s online exhibition page he wrote the essay 'With Golden Guilder Ears: Receptions of Amsterdam'. Via Instagram - @global60s - he regularly adds images that show the visual richness of the sixties.