John and Yoko’s ‘All You Need Is Love’ bedspread, is now in National Museums Liverpool’s collections. The bedspread was given to John Lennon and Yoko Ono in May 1969 during their Bed-In at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, a gift which was thought to be from a local Hare Krishna chapter. However, NML curators were approached by a lady in Toronto who said that she had made the bedspread herself.
Christine Kemp emigrated to Canada from Hull in 1967. In 1969, she was living and working in Montreal, as a part-time designer. Christine had created a large dark blue felt wall hanging, as a room divider for her workshop. Embroidered with the title ‘All You Need Is Love’ and decorated with coloured felt appliquéd figures from Yellow Submarine, she thought the hanging might make an appropriate present for John and Yoko. So, wrapping it in a Union Jack flag, she decided to try and visit them.
All You Need is Love
All You Need Is Love bedspread (c) National Museums Liverpool
On arriving at the hotel, Christine was granted an audience with John and Yoko to present the quilt. Nobody asked who she was, and she left after a short while. Christine said “Once every so often in the intervening years, I had wondered what happened to the bedspread, living my life with no idea about its journey ending in Liverpool.”
Christine recently rediscovered the bedspread, noticing it in some photographs in a book about the bed-in. After much research, Christine eventually found photographer Tedd Church, from the Montreal Gazette, and he was able to provide a fabulous photograph of the moment Christine gave the bedspread to John and Yoko. The fantastic photo and bedspread will be on display in the Wondrous Place gallery of the new Museum of Liverpool when it opens in summer 2011.