By Judith Baughman, Richard Layman, Vincent Tompkins, Victor Bondi
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Extra info for American Decades: 1960-1969 (American Decades)
Switched-On Bach, an album of music by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on the Moog synthesizer by Walter (later, after a sex change, Wendy) Carlos, is popular with classical listeners as well as young people. A second album the following year, The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, is equally successful. 1969 Movies 3O Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford; Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson; Goodbye, Mr. Chips, starring Peter O'Toole; The Love Bug, starring Dean Jones and Buddy Hackett; Midnight Cowboy, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Maggie Smith; True Grit, starring John Wayne; The Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine.
There were several new movements — all with their supporters and detractors. The most popular, fittingly, was pop art, which employed commercial techniques and drew on artifacts from everyday culture such as comic strips, movies, and items available at local grocery stores. After pop art came op art, which used optical illusions. More serious in intent was minimalism: sculptors created massive geometric works of uniform color and material while painters placed simple geometric forms on canvas. Both efforts were a repudiation of abstract expressionism, which valued personality.
Windfalls. Such assistance was a breath of fresh air for the arts in America. For instance, in 1966 modern-dance choreographers Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, and Alwin Nikolais each received $5,000 from the National Council on the Arts; the same year Martha Graham received $40,000 to produce two new works and $141,000 to mount a national tour of her company. Controversies to Come. There was only one problem with government-subsidized art. Since they were footing the bill, lawmakers and taxpayers often felt that they ought to control grants and that certain recipients did not deserve federal support, especially if their art challenged conventional notions.
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