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White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon exhibit launched by Julian and Cynthia Lennon


(from Press Release)
WF-JulianLennonOpening on June 17, 2009 in Liverpool, the world famous Beatles Story gives visitors the opportunity to experience a unique personal narration of life with John Lennon – by his son Julian, and Julian’s mother, Cynthia, with the opening of “White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon.”

(Photo © Mark McNulty)

Beginning in Merseyside with the meeting at art college of John and Cynthia, it follows the journey from their clandestine marriage and the birth of Julian, both of which coincide with the sharply increasing trajectory of the band’s fame and fortune. The exhibition culminates in the story of Cynthia and John’s separation and divorce, giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the personal journey of a normal family’s struggle to cope with the effects of fame thrown upon them; particularly relevant in today’s celebrity conscious society.


John Lennon’s Help! cape
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)

Nothing demonstrates this more acutely than the title of the exhibition, ”White Feather”. During a tender moment when Julian was a child, John first spoke to him about the white feather.

As Julian explains: ”The white feather is so prevalent in my life. One thing for sure is that it’s always represented peace to me. And one of the things my father said to me was that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be ok, or that we were all going to be ok, it was by in some way, shape or form presenting me with a white feather.”

Then, around ten years ago while Julian was on tour in Australia, a group of Aborigines presented him with a white feather, asking him to be the voice for their plight. It was a breathtaking and inspirational moment for Julian. This episode motivated Julian to set up The White Feather Foundation, a charity that embraces environmental and humanitarian issues and helps to raise funds to improve the life of others.

Julian Lennon says: ”John Lennon is an idol to millions of people who grew up loving his music and ideals, but to me he is the father I loved and lost. I hope this exhibition lets people see another aspect of his life and our time together as a family. This collection represents something of great importance to us as it is part of our history.”


Postcard from Julian to John
(Courtesy of Cynthia Lennon Collection)

“Rather than have everything locked up in storage in a safe packed away for no one to see I felt it would be better to be outside, especially in this city, the city of Liverpool for the fans to see,” Julian said.

He also spoke emotionally about how the personal possessions have been brought back into family ownership: “Slowly but surely I have been gathering things. Nothing was passed down to me after Dad passed. The only way I could actually regain any of my dad’s belongings, or the Beatles work, was to go out and buy them myself. I felt that not only for my sake but also if I have a family of my own, whether it’s in their personal possession or at an exhibition like this, they have a chance to see their family history”.

“White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon”, takes place at the recently expanded world famous Beatles Story within the new Mersey Ferries terminal building on Liverpool’s renowned waterfront before touring worldwide.


John Lennon’s Afghan coat
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)


Electric guitar with inscribed plaque reading
‘To Julian from Daddy Christmas 1973’
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)

Items include:

• John Lennon’s Afghan coat
• John Lennon’s Help! cape
• *Paul McCartney’s recording notes for Hey Jude
• John Lennon’s Honda ‘monkey bike’ motorbike
• Electric guitar with inscribed plaque reading ‘To Julian from Daddy Christmas 1973’

Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, which owns the Beatles Story, says: “This is a story about a family; but it is also a story of global significance and one that opens up the lives of John, Cynthia and Julian in a way never seen before. We are in the business of creating the world’s number one Beatles experience at the Beatles Story and to have this exclusive on our doorstep – John’s home town – is a privilege.”

White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon is presented by The White Feather Foundation charity. The White Feather Foundation is currently being set up by Julian Lennon.

The White Feather exhibit runs from June 17 to December 31, 2009


5 thoughts on “White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon exhibit launched by Julian and Cynthia Lennon

  1. May God be with you and your mum, Julian. Your father loved you-I`m sure you know that.You`re maybe a victim of the global phenomenom that was The Beatles.They certainly changed my life (and countless thousands for the better).At the risk of sounding like a pious tosser, I hope you have a long and happy life-you`re a talented individual in your own right.(As is Cynthia).


  2. Thank you both so much for sharing with strangers, your love of your friend, husband and father. I enjoyed your mum’s book “John”, and have a deeper appreciation for your life and that of your father, who was taken from us long before his death. What an inspiration you are Julian, and a dead ringer for your father. The Beatles have changed my life several times, I was born in 1960 and so with each era passed and passing, I hear the songs and see the life differently.

    I was fortunate to visit, The Beatles Story in Nov 2006, take the Magical Mystery Tour and visit the Cavern Club. I hope to return before the end of the White Feather.

    Until then, sending warm regards and thanks.


  3. Dear Julian,
    I am so happy for you and you mum. You have taken such a heartbreaking family situation and made the very best of it. I really enjoyed your mum’s book and was so glad to hear the true story. Your great spirit has been passed down to you from both of your parents, and your grace in handling everything you have done and continue to do is testiment to that. Through “Whaledreamers” and “Lucy” you have shown what a great humanitarian you are. Congrats on you and your mum’s new “White Feather” exhibit. I am thrilled to hear this will be a traveling exhibit, as I live in Central Florida. Have you thought of having it in NYC for your dad’s 70th birthday? I hope to be there joining in the celebration. I am also looking forward to your upcoming US tour.
    The best of everthing is wished to both you and your mum, you are true survivors.
    Thank you,

  4. Julian,

    Thank you and your Mom so much for sharing. John meant so much to so many…he changed so many lives including mine so profoundly. I believe his legacy lives on in you and your work. We hope to holiday and experience Liverpool’s Museum in good time. Know your both loved very much and blessed for the truly great work that you carry on today. Your your father’s son alright, white feather, and the world’s a much better place because of it.

    God Bless, Thank You and most of all..we ALL send our LOVE.



  5. Hi Julian! I have had some pretty amazing experiences with the energies of deceased loved ones and with premonitions that later came true. There is a spiritual plane that exists with our own. I am a musician/artist and my portraits convey that part of me. I was inspired to do one of you related to a white feather and a message from your Dad. Your energies are combined. You had some painful experiences that he wants so much to right. I am hoping this comes across in my portrait and I hope you like it and would like to have it…my gift to you. Just FB me . I tried contacting you at your email address.
    All the best,
    Love and Light,
    Christine Newland

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