this article in the December 1969 edition of US Vogue where they compare scenes from woodstock to famous paintings absolutely made my day – perhaps for obvious reasons. why can’t vogue still be like this?

All nature is but art, unknown to thee; / All chance, direction, which thou eanst not see.” Except you can. As clearly as you can see the sunlit discipline of Seurat you can see direction on those rare, risked occassions when an event slips it man-made plans and becomes a phenomenon, pulling order, unexpected, from chaos – and, at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, from muf. “Gettysburg,” they called it. A plague of people. A slough. A three-day anguish that no one who was there regrets: Hundreds of thousands of kids come together to enjoy each other in the presence of music, and of peace. They knew about art and nature what Alexander Pope wrote in 1773. They lived for a weekend in the still eye of a hurricane.

please note that i did not make these comparisons myself, i have simply recreated the image comparisons from the original magazine article in higher resolution for your viewing pleasure.

seurat – a sunday afternoon on the island of la grande jatte

manet – le déjeuner sur l’herbe

gauguin – spirit of the dead watching

cezanne – the bathers

vogue scans courtesy of youthquakers


  1. What a great post!!! The association between woodstock and the paintings is just crazy wonderful…love it

  2. Amazing! I just discovered this post and your amazing color comparisons via Where the Lovely Things Are. I had to blog about this and your work, so wonderful! :)

  3. What an absolutely divine post! i missed it on your blog and came upon it via where the lovely things are. so great! x

  4. Vogue did an artful job. I want to confess that of the two males in the foreground in the water, one is me (on the left). I remember that moment, and have copies of this issue. Woodstock was the event of a lifetime.

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