Groovy Bob – the Hedonistic Taste-Maker of Swinging London

Thursday 25 April | 6–8pm

For me and many others, Robert Fraser was one of the most influential people of the London sixties scene – Paul McCartney.
Join author Harriet Vyner in what promises to a fascinating talk on the life and times of Robert Fraser, or ‘Groovy Bob’ to his friends. Groovy Bob was a hugely influential gallery owner who revolutionised the London art world by introducing the likes of Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat to the scene. Opening in 1962, the Robert Fraser Gallery was a major influence on the artistic tastes of Swinging London, acknowledged by Time Magazine in their famous 1966 cover story of that name. Described by Mick Jagger as a taste guru, Fraser’s style was undeniable. A heroin addict, his financial dealings could be infuriatingly mercurial but he was never less than stimulating to his artists and friends alike.

Peppering her talk with anecdotes, Harriet will be quoting from many of those featured in the book, including Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull, Peter Blake, Bridget Riley, Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton, whose Swingeing London 67, featuring Fraser and Jagger handcuffed together, was to become the defining images of that decade.

Groovy Bob: The life and times of Robert Fraser, £10 published by Heni, 2015, acclaimed on first publication, is the recently updated biography which is a unique portrait of the exciting post-war changes to the social and artistic landscape of Britain. This new edition includes a new afterword by the author and numerous colour plates from the major exhibition ‘A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense: A Portrait of Robert Fraser’.

Author Biography
Harriet Vyner lives between Yorkshire and London. As well as Groovy Bob: The life and times of Robert Fraser, she has also written Among Ruins (2006), and is the co-author of Jools Holland’s autobiography, Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts (2007). The updated Groovy Bob was written to accompany the exhibition ‘A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense: A Portrait of Robert Fraser’ at Pace London which she co-curated in 2015.

Pre-order your copy of Groovy Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Fraser with your event ticket to collect on the night of the talk, through the link below.

Talk: £15 | £12 Students
Talk plus book: £25 | £22 Students

All tickets include a complimentary drink and exhibition entry

Book Now
Numbers are limited for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you have any questions about this event please complete our enquiry form.

The event starts at 6pm with a glass of wine in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the current exhibition. The talk follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including an opportunity to ask questions, followed by a book signing in the foyer. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.

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