It is impossible to think about the ’60s without conjuring up images of peace, love, and Woodstock. It was a time of reflection, a time of cultural change, and a coming together for the good of humanity. It was also a flamboyant time, where vibrantly colored fashion took center stage – not just in clothing, but also on vehicles.
A symbol-covered time machine known as the LIGHT Bus will be the centerpiece vehicle for the “Age of Aquarius: Cars of the Counterculture & Beyond” exhibit. The exhibit is sponsored by National Parts Depot, at the AACA Museum, Inc., in Hershey, PA. This 1962 Volkswagen bus is the canvas for an incredible “magic bus” created by artist Dr. Robert Hieronimus. He designed and painted the original bus in 1968, and completed the recreated bus in 2019 for the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock celebrated in August. This bus is on view at the AACA Museum beginning Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, through April 26, 2020.
Symbolism of the Art:
According to Dr. Hieronimus, the front of the bus showcases the serpent biting its tail, called an ouroboros, which symbolizes eternity and cyclic renewal. Inside the ouroboros are symbols for the Sun (higher or spiritual self), Saturn (karma), Jupiter (expansion of consciousness), Venus (harmony), Mars (activity), Mercury (mind), and the Moon (personality). The central circle is the heart, symbolizing the cohesive force of the universe, which is Love.
“I chose symbols from the ancient mystery traditions, including the ouroboros or snake biting it’s tail, astrological symbols, Rosicrucian crosses, and alphabets from Atlantis. Everything from the Egyptian Sphinx to the lotus flowers symbolizing the expansion of the soul is interlocked in intricate waves of vibrating energy to show we are all one and connected with the cosmic creator on a vibrational level. I was using my occult training to create a real magical talisman, an object that stores and radiates energy to create change,” Dr. Bob explained. “We are one people, inhabiting one planet.”
History of the LIGHT Bus:
In 1968, Bob Grimm (leader of the musical group Light) commissioned artist Dr. Bob to paint his 1963 11-window Volkswagen bus (or Bulli, as it was called in Europe) for $1,000. This decorated bus became known as the LIGHT Bus after the Baltimore-area band that used the van as transportation to their gigs. The band also drove it to Woodstock in the summer of 1969.
It was during Woodstock when this VW bus became famous. The stylized art attracted many photographers from a variety of publications, such as Rolling Stone and Life as they documented the festival. The most iconic photo was taken by the Associated Press – a head-on shot with Light drummer Rick Peters and Light singer Trudy Morgal sitting barefoot atop the bus.
After years of heavy use, the original LIGHT Bus went missing in the 1970s. Given the keen interest in this iconic vehicle, Dr. Bob, together with the aid of some Volkswagen and Bulli fans and a Kickstarter campaign, managed to recreate the LIGHT Bus that looks identical to the original. East Coast VW Restorations in St. Augustine, Fla., and Skinner Classics VW Restorations in Vacaville, Calif., helped restore this amazing rolling time capsule. The second-generation LIGHT Bus was completed in time for the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and was on display at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts from Aug. 16-18, 2019.
Visit lightvwbus.com to learn more about the bus. You can ride along on the bus’ fantastic journey from start to finish in CuriosityStream’s original documentary, The Woodstock Bus. Visit CuriosityStream.com/LIGHT to watch, and use the promo code LIGHT to explore that and thousands of more documentaries free for 30 days.
See the recreated LIGHT Bus at the AACA Museum as part of a featured “Age of Aquarius: Cars of the Counterculture & Beyond” exhibit, sponsored by National Parts Depot, on view from Nov. 23, 2019, through April 26, 2020. Relive the time by checking out vehicles of the time, along with the festive decorations at the AACA Museum this holiday season.
An exhibit Preview Party is planned for Friday, November 22, 2019, where members and other visitors can enjoy the exhibits before they open publically. The party will run from 5:30 – 8:30 PM with attire being casual or 60s-70s themed. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available during the Preview Party. Tickets are $15 per person to attend and must be reserved in advance by calling 717-566-7100. This event is free to Museum Members, Donors, Volunteers, Exhibit Vehicle Owners, and Sponsors. If you’re not a current Member, please consider joining.