The obvious inflection point in the show occurs with the jump from icons of the 40s and 50s, to those of the 60s and 70s. During this shift, the idea of cool goes from collected understatement (chill) to raw, naked, defiant emotion.

Few capture that shift better than Angela Davis, whose pyretic history as a Communist Party leader is perhaps only matched in notoriety by her afro, which became a political statement in its own right.

While arguably some of the coolest people ever, Muhammad Ali, Paul Newman, Hunter S. Thompson, came from this period, this is also the era, according to the curators, when women really carved out their own space in terms of defining “cool.” In particular, the female musicians featured, like Bonnie Raitt, Deborah Harry, and Patti Smith, who took a relatively masculine concept and made it one women could openly own.