The 60s through the eyes of a revolutionary, by John “Hoppy” Hopkins

Born in England in 1937, John Hopkins, better known as “Hoppy,” was one of the best-known counterculture figures in London in the 1960s, not just as a photographer and journalist, but as a political activist as well. The 60s through the eyes of a revolutionary, by John “Hoppy” Hopkins tells this story through 66 framed works by the late artist, activist, and photojournalist.

Through his insightful, raw, and beautiful photos he documented an incredible time of change. In 1960, Hoppy moved to London, where he became a professional photographer—photographing musicians, marches, and political and social issues. In 1965 he set up the Notting Hill Free School and began connecting influential people in London, later gaining credit for beginning the counterculture movement in the United Kingdom. Hoppy captured the mood of the fast-changing decade and photographed The Rolling Stones and The Beatles on their first wave of stardom. Both groups were moving swiftly away from mainstream pop, experimenting with drugs, getting interested in avant-garde art, poetry, and Eastern mysticism. Hoppy was there as an informal pilot, capturing this transformation on film.

…they (Melody Maker) were having difficulty getting good pictures of The Rolling Stones because the group was so unreliable, and they asked me to help. We booked a studio for 11am and after five minutes I realized it wasn’t going to work. They were all asleep and they were literally holding Keith up. So, we went off to a cafe for breakfast and that’s where I got the shot of Mick and Keith looking all soft and vulnerable waiting for a cup of tea. They liked it and said that I was the only person ever to have photographed them before lunch.

— John “Hoppy” Hopkins

Through his early association with Pink Floyd, and his work as a photojournalist and political activist, he became known as the “King of the Underground”. He worked as a photojournalist for a comparatively short period of time, yet during these brief few years, he documented many of the diverse events that embodied the Sixties’ counterculture in the United Kingdom.

Interest in Hoppy’s photographs grew in the 1990s. Hoppy had kept boxes of negatives under his bed for decades, quite unaware of their intrinsic importance and appeal, when a friend of his contacted Addie Elliott, who was running a photography gallery in London. They were candid but striking images that had been lost for over 30 years. Hoppy was invited to exhibit the first retrospective exhibition of this work at the Photographer’s Gallery. One show followed another— eventually leading to the publication of From The Hip, a book representing a selection of his best photographs. Hoppy passed away on January 30, 2015, leaving an astounding legacy behind.

This is the first time this incredible collection of photographs that tells the story of the London counterculture movement will tour the United States.

Addie Elliott and Liz Halls are the curators of this exhibition, via their Amsterdam-based gallery, Elliott-Halls

Read More

Tour Schedule

The 60s through the eyes of a revolutionary, by John “Hoppy” Hopkins is touring September 2022 through August 2027. The dates below reflect seven-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact MoreArt@maaa.org or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

Exhibition Details

66 framed photographs by John “Hoppy” Hopkins

  • Content

    Fee Includes
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    Addie Elliott and Liz Halls

  • Organized By

    ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee

    $7,350

  • In-Region Rental Fee

    $4,410

  • Duration

    7-week display

  • Shipping

    Van Line

  • Running Feet

    200

  • Square Feet

    N/A

  • Security

    Moderate B

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    Estimated 3 crates

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.