Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Summer of Love fifty years on

The de Young Museum marks the 50th anniversary with a retrospective open through the summer months, naturally.

My parents married in 1968, so I hadn't yet been a thought in anyone's mind until a few years after the hippies descended on the Haight. Both working class kids who needed to support themselves and didn't seem too into 'tuning in and dropping out', neither of my parents participated in any of the counter-cultural events happening under their noses here in San Francisco some 50 years ago.

The retrospective, though engaging, was mostly focused on the art and fashion of the time. I guess that's no great surprise as the de Young is an art institution, that, in recent years, has showcased the fashion design of some of the biggest names in the business. I had hoped for a bit more information on the political and social ideas that came out of San Francisco at that time as well. The last bit of the exhibit before one was funneled into the Summer of Love Gift Shop, dealt a bit with the Black Panther movement, the anti-draft movement, the advent of the pill, and, interestingly, Watergate.

Here are some of the 'groovy' fashions on display--



Quite possibly my favorite piece

Joan Baez and her sisters for the anti-draft movement

Vietnam vet art

Hallelujah, indeed!
Simulated psychedelic space replete with bean bags and trippy music


Bottom left, corner of a poster featuring Pink Floyd

Lenny Bruce, among the music

Crochet art (bed spread) by Birgitta Bjerke


For those of you who were around back in '67 I ask: What were you doing during the Summer of Love?

For those of you weren't: Were your parents hippies?

10 comments:

  1. I was around at the time, but too young to participate. And there was nothing 'hippy' about my parents. My older brothers yes....
    The dress with the hands holding her breasts makes me cringe a bit - but I love that final bedspread. A very different take on crochet.

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    Replies
    1. I think Birgitta was also responsible for the 'breast frock'. I initially thought 'eek', then I thought it was, to use modern parlance, empowering.

      The bedspread is magical.

      Delete
  2. Reminds me of some of the stuff on display at the Bethel Woods Museum.

    I don't think they had hippies in England and Ireland. They did have glam rock, but pretty sure neither of my parents were int that... Stepmom on the other hand was a huge hippie.

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, I bet the step-mom had some stories. I wonder if all the hippie-minded Brits and Irish came all the way out here for their counter-cultural expression?

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  3. When I was a kid, I so wanted my parents to have been hippies. They informed me they were busy working... But my parents were about the same age as yours--they married in '67.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so wanted my parents to have been hippies, too. In retrospect, I thin I am glad they weren't.

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  4. I was a sit-in student at Art School in 1968. My parents were the children of Victorians - literally.

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    Replies
    1. Tom, did the 'hippie vibe' hit your shores, or was it mostly sort of 'swinging 60s' during your art school days?

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  5. Oh those days. We were hippies, my husband had long hair while I walked around braless and we did lots of um, things we shouldn't have. I still have many of those rock posters. I NEVER thought the bell bottom jeans would have come back in style.

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    Replies
    1. Wow. I imagine that those posters are sort of documents of your youth. How neat that you still have them.

      Yes, bells, beads, and arm pit hair. It's all come back around! :D

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