The de Young museum is commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the “Summer of Love.” About 100,000 young people came to San Francisco in 1967 to share in peace and love. The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll runs through August 20. The exhibition includes a curtained room where museum-goers can immerse themselves in the sixties, by lying back on beanbag chairs surrounded by a psychedelic light show accompanying rock music… and play with their smartphones.
If you’re going to San Francisco, put some flowers in your hair and head over to the de Young Museum for their “Summer of Love” exhibition.
The Summer of Love began on sunny January 14, 1967 in San Francisco. Thirty thousand, mostly young, people gathered in Golden Gate Park for the first “Human Be-In.” With a far-off war raging and anti-Vietnam War protests escalating, the baby boomer generation was going to show the rest of the nation the way to peace and love: sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service provided the music. LSD was handed out and Hell’s Angels provided security. (The wisdom of hiring a motorcycle gang for security was demonstrated thirty months and sixty miles later at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival when they beat to death an over-exuberant fan in front of the stage where the Rolling Stones were performing.)
The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood became the perceived center of the groovy lifestyle. Thousands of young people flocked there for a summer of love. The Monterey Pop Festival, brainchild of record company executives and producers, with private security and trained volunteers, in the minds of many somehow epitomized this new way of living.
Fifty years later, hipsters have replaced the hippies; young people line the sidewalks, playing with smartphones while waiting for free buses to their high-tech jobs in Silicon Valley. Airbnb will help you find a place to stay in Haight-Ashbury.
The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll runs through August 20 at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.
Peace, Love and the Who