Party at the Silver Factory, 1966

It’s 1966. Just south of Midtown and away from the Wall Street angst, Manhattan is a glorious playground for artists, where it feels like anything is possible. The Vietnam war rages on while America reels in shock from the assassination of JFK in 1963. Non-violent Civil Rights Movement protests across the country inspire a new generation of African Americans.

Against this fragile backdrop of hope and uncertainty, artists begin to descend on the expansive loft spaces across Manhattan, relics from New York’s long-gone industrial past.

In one of these converted industrial spaces, a group of drag queens, musicians, artists and gallerists hang out, paint canvases, build installations and shoot 8mm film. Despite the landlord’s warnings, later tonight there will be another party. Everyone in New York has been invited.

Experience the collective euphoria of the rebellious avant-garde scene from an old warehouse in Peckham and become part of the action if you choose.

Photograph of a man dancing under a silver balloon City Nights