Time Travel Back to 1967 – The Summer of Love

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967 – De Young Museum

The Summer of Love officially took place 50 years ago in San Francisco in 1967. 100,000, mostly young people opposed to the Vietnam War and wanting to make social and environmental change, converged in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, wearing ‘flowers in their hair.’  For the most part, the ‘hippies’ were anti-consumerists and seeded new trends in art, fashion, poetry and music. There was a dramatic shift in traditional values and sex, drugs and rock and roll became the mantra during the Summer of Love and the hippy scene that unfolded.  In many parts of the country, the birth control pill had been recently legalized giving women more sexual freedom. A drug counterculture emerged and hallucinogenic drugs, although illegal were available to those who sought them out. Timothy Leary, a Harvard psychologist encouraged students to “turn on, tune in and drop out.”

Influential Literature 1960's

Influential Literature – Then and Now

Poster Art for The Gathering of Tribes Event

Poster Art for The Gathering of Tribes Event

Acid Test Poster

Acid Test Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hallelujah -The Pill

Hallelujah -The Pill

60's Album Cover Art

60’s Album Cover Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1967, I was just 16 and living in Santa Barbara, California. Although I wasn’t part of the Summer of Love scene in San Francisco, I was deeply influenced by the new trends in music, art and fashion. The first rock concert I attended was in 1967;  a Jefferson Airplane ‘pillow concert’ at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara. My parents deemed me too young to go on my own and although I was somewhat embarrassed, my patient father took me and we sat and on pillows on the floor. My father put several pillows over his head and ears, while I sat swaying to the swirling lights and pulsing music. I can still feel the vibrations of  Grace Slick singing the White Rabbit.

Summer Love Experience - De Young Museum

Summer Love Experience – De Young Museum

DeYoung Museum Summer Of Love Exhibit

DeYoung Museum Summer Of Love Exhibit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of weeks ago, Art and I sojourned to San Francisco to see the De Young Museum’s, Summer of Love Show, a celebration and retrospect of the fifty year anniversary since the Summer of Love in San Francisco.  Although there were the expected exhibits of psychedelic poster art and mannequins wearing authentic 60’s garb, the exhibit felt superficial. The ‘establishment,’ the De Young Museum was putting on a counterculture exhibit in a predictable established manner. Why were we served 60’s elevator music instead of being engulfed in sound? Why was the ’light show room’  a washed out experience accented  with a half dozen modern bean bag chairs rather than an intense time travel light show transporting visitors back 50 years?

60's Mod Fashion

60’s Mod Fashion

60's Hippy Fashion

60’s Hippy Fashion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although Art and I felt the exhibit was bland, I am glad we went to see it. No drugs are needed to appreciate the mind blowing poster art from that era. It was fun to see the authentic hippy fashions on the many models and after an archival dig in my closet, I found my tattered embroidered jeans and a purple crochet poncho that I imagine the De Young would have been happy to have on display. Surprisingly, the 50 year span between then and now feels just like a blip in time. Since the official start of my jewelry business in 1978, I have created many Peace Themed Jewelry designs; undoubtely influenced by the art, fashion and music of the 60’s.

Marty's embroidered jeans and crochet poncho from the late 60's.

Marty’s embroidered jeans and crochet poncho from the late 60’s.

Jean Embroidery Detail

Jean Embroidery Detail

This entry was posted in Museums and Shows. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*