Experience the Summer of Love at the de Young
On view at the de Young Museum from April 8 to Aug. 20, 2017 is The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll. An exhilarating collection of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde film, this exhibition is a 50th anniversary celebration of the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco summer of 1967. The Summer of Love Experience presents more than 300 significant cultural artifacts of the Summer of Love, including almost 150 objects from the Fine Arts Museums' permanent holdings.
The Summer of Love was marked by groundbreaking developments in art, fashion, music and politics as artists, activists, writers and musicians converged on Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park with hopes of creating a new social paradigm. By 1967 the area would attract as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation.
Local bands such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead were the progenitors of what would become known as the "San Francisco Sound," music that found its visual counterpart in creative industries that sprang up throughout the region. Rock-poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson generated an exciting array of distinctive works featuring distorted hand-lettering and vibrating colors, while wildly creative light shows, such as those by Bill Ham and Ben Van Meter, served as expressions of the new psychedelic impulse.
Distinctive codes of dress also set members of the Bay Area counterculture apart from mainstream America. Local designers began to create fantastic looks using a range of techniques and materials, including leatherwork, hand-painting, knitting and crochet, embroidery, re-purposed denim and tie-dye. These innovators included Birgitta Bjerke, Mickey McGowan, Burray Olson and Jeanne Rose.
The Summer of Love Experience commemorates an "only in San Francisco" social and aesthetic movement and will remind museum visitors that in a time of international upheaval, the city played a vital role in changing society and amplifying the pulse of the nation. Click here for a video preview.
The de Young Museum is conveniently located in the heart of Golden Gate Park, a key landmark during the Summer of Love. The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll is on view April 8 to Aug. 20, 2017. Visit deyoungmuseum.org to read more about this special exhibition and to purchase tickets. Groups of 10 or more have access to discounted rates, private tours and group dining. Learn more.