Pop Culture & Performing Arts

Studio 54: Night Magic

There has never been--and will never be--another nightclub to rival the sheer glamour, energy, and wild creativity that was Studio 54. This catalog accompanies an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum exploring how Studio 54 was a unique zeitgeist of an era.

From the moment it opened in 1977, Studio 54 celebrated spectacle and promised a never-ending parade of anything goes. Although it existed for only three years, it served as a catalyst that brought together some of the most famous, creative, and strangest people in the world. It quickly became known for its all-ages celebrity guest list and its uniquely chic clientele of superstars and freaks of all races and sexual preferences who would often show up half-dressed or in costume. From the cutting-edge lighting displays and sound system to its elaborate sets that would change on a whim, altering the environment and ambiance, it was the beginning of nightclub as performance art.

Now, the Brooklyn Museum is staging the first exhibition featuring the nightclub as a bellwether of New York City cultural life. More than 650 objects--spanning fashion, photography, drawings, film, and music--as well as video, film, and soundtrack, create an immersive experience, with an exhibition design inspired by the club's original lighting and atmosphere. Highlights include never-before-published costume sketches by artist Antonio Lopez and newly discovered set designs, as well as ephemera salvaged by the original club staff and interviews with the cultural luminaries who were there.

Telling the story of this legendary club, as well as serving as a companion to the exhibition, Studio 54: Night Magic serves as a document of the era, depicting the wild energy and provocative creativity of this seminal cultural moment.

About The Author

Matthew Yokobosky is Senior Curator, Fashion and Material Culture, at Brooklyn Museum.

  • Publish Date: March 24, 2020
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Music - Genres & Styles - Pop Vocal
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Electa
  • Trim Size: 10-3/4 x 14-1/2
  • Pages: 176
  • US Price: $39.95
  • CDN Price: $53.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6922-0

Reviews

"...[a] tribute to a disco club that glimmered in 1970s-era Manhattan..." —ART NEWS 

"If there is one nightclub that has made a lasting impact on pop culture, it has to be Studio 54. The disco hotspot in Manhattan only ran for three years, from 1977 to 1980, but changed photography, style, music and celebrity culture." —FORBES.COM 

"...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 could come together for nights of music, dazzling lights, and the popular song and dance ‘the Hustle." —ARTNET.COM