In 1966 -1967, inspired by the song "If you come to San Francisco," and utopian dreams of the very young, millions of young people descended on San Francisco looking for sex, love, drugs and Rock and Roll. The Haight Ashbury was ground zero for home away from home and Golden Gate Park their playground. For a brief moment in time, young, fashion, music, art and politics converged to create a unique, although vulnerable, culture
|Ruth-Marion Baruch, 'Hare Krishna Dance in Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury', 1967|
The 50th anniversary exhibit at the de Young presents a brightly colored, idealistic vision of the time with more than 300 items: rock posters, photographs, clothing, film and music.
|Loren Rehbock, 'Mnasidika, 1510 Haight St.', 1967, Color offset lithograph, 20 x 14 in., FAMSF, Gift of Gary Westford, L16.26.3|
The exhibition opens with a look at the Trips Festival of January 21–23, 1966, providing background and context into this creative period. Co-organized by American writers Stewart Brand and Ken Kesey, this multimedia extravaganza—complete with liquid light and slide shows, film projections, electronic sounds, and more—was the first event to gather members of the counterculture in a significant way.
The current city of San Francisco, probably remembering the piles of trash left by any gathering of any size, cancelled a concert.
It's probably just as well. Nostalga for a never never land doesn't hold up very well and while looking at all the pretty things created in that brief moment will be fun, the uglier aspects of drugs, mental illness, poverty and its attendant ills are what we would be reminded of by any current concert.
|Bob Schnepf, "Summer of Love/City of San Francisco", 1967. Color offset lithograph poster, 20 1/2 x 14 in. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco,|
Summer of Love here
April 8th Opening Day Schedule here
Vanity Fair here
at the de Young Museum, SF Golden Gate Park: April 8- Aug 20
All images courtesy of the FAMSF.