SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Tens of thousands of young people converged in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district in the summer of 1967 and captured the attention of the world.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the California Historical Society looks back at the cultural movements and events that led up to this transformative moment in California history with a new exhibition that opens May 12th.
On The Road to the Summer of Love explores the cultural context — from the Beat poets to the experimental art scene — that made San Francisco a magnet for hippies and the center of a social revolution that rippled across the country.
Guest curators Dennis McNally, biographer and former publicist of the Grateful Dead, and Alisa Leslie a counterculture historian, bring together rarely seen photographs by more than twenty photographers, including Gene Anthony, Jerry Burchard, Herb Greene, Lisa Law, and Elaine Mayes.
Photographs and ephemera from CHS collections are featured alongside materials from private and institutional lenders to help tell the story of how the Summer of Love came to be.
"This exhibition takes you through the origins of this revolutionary maelstrom of change and genuinely new consciousness, which we call the Summer of Love," says McNally. "It was real, and this is the story of its origins."
Visitors to the exhibition are taken down an amazing road, beginning in the late 1950s with the Beatniks in North Beach and ending in late 1967 with the Diggers' Death of the Hippie ceremony. The exhibition explores iconic moments—such as Jack Weinberg in a police car at UC Berkeley at the birth of the Free Speech Movement—as well as less well-known, but none-the-less formative, events.
Listening stations with audio clips provide a unique way to be a part of these moments in history. They include a reading of the famed poem "Howl" by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1959; poems from all of the poets at the famed Six Gallery reading that introduced "Howl,"; Mario Savio's legendary speech at the Free Speech Movement sit-in at UC Berkeley in December 1964; and the Grateful Dead on stage at the 1967 Human Be-In. Musician Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and actor Peter Coyote, once a member of the artist-anarchist collective The Diggers, reflect on the era as well.
"From the Beat movement to protests, arts, music, and fashion, On the Road to the Summer of Love captures the heart and soul of a generation," notes Dr. Anthea Hartig, Executive Director and CEO of the California Historical Society. "This exhibition and weekend of events help kick off what will be a summer of celebration and reflection that transcends to many of the issues we face today, fifty years later."
The California Historical Society is located at 678 Mission Street in San Francisco. On The Road to the Summer of Love will be on view May 12–September 10, 2017. For more information about the exhibition and other Summer of Love events throughout the Bay Area visit Summerof.Love.
SOURCE The California Historical Society