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Studio 54: Night Magic
Studio 54: Night Magic traces the radiant history, social politics, and trailblazing aesthetics of the most iconic nightclub of all time. Behind the velvet rope, partygoers of all backgrounds and lifestyles came together for nights of music and dance, socializing, and vivid spectacle.
Following the Vietnam War, and amid the nationwide Civil Rights Movement and fights for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, people sought social and creative transformation as well as a sense of joyous celebration. In a nearly bankrupted New York City, low rents attracted a diversity of artists, fashion designers, writers, and musicians from across the country, catalyzing the invention of new art forms, including musical genres such as punk, hip-hop, and especially disco. In a rare societal shift, people from different sexual, sociopolitical, and financial strata intermingled in after-hours nightclubs. No place exemplified this more than Studio 54.
Organized chronologically, Studio 54: Night Magic showcases photography, fashion, drawing, and film, as well as never-before-exhibited costume illustrations, set proposals, and designs that illustrate the club’s innovative development and creation, while documentation of extravagant parties trace its thirty-three month rise and fall. The exhibition continues through the years after the nightclub’s closure, exhibiting the ongoing influence of Studio 54 aesthetics.
Studio 54: Night Magic is curated and designed by Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum.