Rock And Revolution

Now through January 15, 2012 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit and 3rd Floor Exhibit

This exhibit is part of the series Freeing John Sinclair: The Day Legends Came to Town, a series of events and exhibit celebrating the launch of AADL's Freeing John Sinclair website (available at on Friday, December 9). The series marks the 40th anniversary of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally (December 10, 1971) in Ann Arbor. AADL will offer a special exhibit opening reception on Friday, Dec. 2, 7 - 8:30 pm in the Multi-Purpose Room.

Rock And Revolution features photographs by Leni Sinclair and David Fenton; posters from the collection of Michael Erlewine; and documents from the Bentley Historical Library's John and Leni Sinclair Papers.

Leni Sinclair and David Fenton, former members of Ann Arbor's White Panther and Rainbow People's Party, are celebrated photographers in their own right. Both lived in Ann Arbor during the late 1960s and early 1970s and both had the benefit of an insider perspective on the social-political movements of that period in Ann Arbor's history. In particular, both chronicled the activities of the White Panthers and Rainbow People's Party. Their work features the people, the music, and the events of their time, from the celebrated concerts and rallies of the late '60s to home life at 1520 Hill St.

The 32 posters in the exhibit are from the collection of archivist and cultural historian Michael Erlewine. Featuring Michigan art rock posters of the '60s and '70s, they include highlights from the career of legendary poster artist and graphic designer Gary Grimshaw. Erlewine's collection, which includes some of his own graphic work, documents both the poster art and the cultural events of Michigan and Ann Arbor from the mid-'60s through the '70s.

Also part of this exhibit are documents from the John and Leni Sinclair Papers (1957-1999), on loan from the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library and displayed in the Downtown Library lower level display cases. Among the items on display are minutes from White Panther Central Committee meetings; notes and letters tracing the origins of the White Panthers' "Ten Point" manifesto; a memo from J. Edgar Hoover to President Richard Nixon about the White Panthers; and numerous flyers, photographs, and letters tracing the cultural, political, and business activities of the Sinclairs, from their early years as founders of the Detroit Artists' Workshop and Trans-Love Energies through the White Panther and the Rainbow People's Parties in Ann Arbor.