Victoria Patience, assistant curator of the Museum of Liverpool, discusses how an exhibition of John Lennon’s drawings caused controversy in 1970
In January 1970 the first ever exhibit of Bag One by John Lennon took place at the London Arts Gallery 22 New Bond Street. The opening was raided by the Scotland Yard Vice squad and the prints were confiscated. The gallery owner was charged with Obscenity and a trial was held the next month.
John Lennon’s ‘Bag One’ public exhibition and controversy London Arts Gallery came to the notice of an international public when in 1970, its then owner Eugene Schuster was charged with corrupting morals when he exhibited erotic artwork by Beatle John Lennon of himself and Yoko
EUGENE SCHUSTER: The cultural enrichment business is booming EUGENE SCHUSTER has made an extremely good thing out of etchings. He’s a bright young American who had the brainwave of selling modern art as aggressively as detergent, and as simply as groceries. At his Bond-street,
Detectives damningly dismissed John Lennon’s erotic drawings as the product of a sick mind. And members of the public who visited the London gallery exhibiting them in January 1970 denounced them as ‘ disgusting and repulsive’. The level of outrage provoked by the Beatle’s ‘artwork’
Confiscated in a Scotland Yard raid, John Lennon’s erotic drawings spent only a single day on display in London. Fifty years on, the explicit lithographs made by the Beatle at his creative and controversial peak are highly desirable collectors’ pieces 2 March 2020 | Rob Crossan
Allegedly obscene drawings by John Lennon were compared in court yesterday with a Picasso print. The print was found by police in a drawer at an art gallery where the Lennon lithographs were on display and for sale. It was produced at Marlborough of 1
John Lennon’s graphic drawings of himself having sex may have escaped conviction for obscenity because of feared ramifications across the art world, newly-released files show. There were worries that art collections throughout the country could have fallen foul of the law if the case succeeded.
It was easy for John to talk about being receptive to new ideas but the discipline to begin projects and see them through to completion was often another story. When in 1968 I suggested the lithographs, John, like I, had no idea that the project would
John Lennon – You Are Here, Robert Fraser Gallery, London, UK (1968) A large white canvas circle (approx 10 ft diameter) with ‘you are here’ written in the centre in John’s handwriting. On a white pedestal – A jar full of ‘you are