The Summer of Exhibitions in San Francisco
2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, a yearlong celebration of San Francisco’s influential counterculture. The city was a magnet for musicians, artists and social rebels in the mid-to-late 1960s. They created a community bound by leftist politics, tribal spirit, music and art. Already known as a literary bohemia, attracting nonconformists like the Beat Generation writers of the Fifties, it was logical that free-thinking San Francisco would give birth to a radical new movement eventually embraced by the rest of the world.
Here are some of the notable museum exhibitions happening this summer where you can get your groove on. Don't miss them!
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive: “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia” (Through May 21, 2017)
Explore how art, architecture, and design intersected with the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s. Loosely assembled around Timothy Leary’s famous mantra, “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” “Hippie Modernism” charts the evolution of one of the most fertile periods of recent cultural history, one that witnessed a variety of radical experiments that challenged convention, overturned traditional hierarchies, explored new media and materials and formed alternative communities. Four distinct forum discussions featuring local activists also accompany the exhibition. www.bampfa.org
San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries at City Hall: “Jim Marshall’s 1967” (Through June 17, 2017)
The exhibition will feature 80 photographs from iconic photographer Jim Marshall, chronicling the years 1965-1970, highlighting the hippie movement and rock and roll scene, featuring American music icons including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead.
GLBT History Museum: “Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love” (Through Sept. 27, 2017)
An exhibition highlighting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender participants of the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The show also will explore the LGBTQ community’s own simultaneous cultural revolution in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood. The stories of queer poets, philosophers, filmmakers and musicians integral to the era will be celebrated through historic photographs, artwork, film and documents from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society and private collections. www.glbthistory.org
de Young Museum: “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll” (Through August 8, 2017)
Through a wide array of iconic rock posters, interactive music and light shows, “out-of-this-world” clothing and photographs, “The Summer of Love Experience” celebrates San Francisco's rebellious and colorful counterculture, and explores the visual and material cultures of a generation searching for personal fulfillment through social change. The exhibition includes rock posters by artists including Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse and Wes Wilson, along with examples of the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind garments created by such designers as Brigitta Bjerke, K. Lee Manuel, and Jeanne Rose. Buy tickets.
Walt Disney Family Museum: Summer of Love Lobby (Through Fall 2017)
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love, a rotation of Disney film posters from the 1960s will be on view in the museum’s lower lobby. In addition, classic Disney films from the 1960s, such as “The Gnome-Mobile” (also celebrating its 50th anniversary), “The Incredible Journey,”and “Summer Magic,” will be screened on select days in conjunction with the poster exhibit. Buy tickets.
Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD): “Love or Confusion: Jimi Hendrix in 1967” (April 26 through August 27, 2017)
As Jimi Hendrix walked out onto the stage at the Monterey Pop Festival, he was also stepping out for his American rock and roll debut. A performance enlivened with rock theatrics, sexual flamboyance, and magnetic guitar riffs, this moment solidified Hendrix as a rock idol. An integrated band with a black front man, “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” represented racial and sexual freedom and the goals of the 1906s counterculture. Composed of photographs taken of Jimi Hendrix in 1967, this exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the famous Summer of Love and the emergence of Jimi Hendrix as one the greatest guitarists of all time. Buy tickets.
SFO Museum: “Elaine Mayes: It Happened in Monterey” (May 4 through August 10, 2017)
SFO Museum will present an exhibition of photographs by Elaine Mayes taken at the Summer of Love’s legendary rock concert, the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. The exhibition will be located post-security in Terminal 3. www.flysfo.com
California Historical Society: “On the Road to the Summer of Love” (May 12 through Sept. 10, 2017)
Guest-curated by Grateful Dead historian Dennis McNally, this photographic exhibition will start in the 1950's with “HOWL” and the Beat Generation and move through the free speech movement to LSD, rock and roll and the Haight in the 60's. summerof.love
Asian Art Museum: “Flower Power“ (June 23 through Oct. 1, 2017)
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the Asian Art Museum will present the exhibition “Flower Power,” featuring significant artworks that explore the rich, symbolic history of flowers in Asian art. www.asianart.org
San Francisco Public Library: 50th Anniversary of Love and Haight (July 15 through Oct. 29, 2017) - Civic Center at 100 Larkin St.
In this exhibit, historical photographs, grassroots newspapers, posters and flyers, record albums and manuscript materials from community groups and City of San Francisco collections will document the social and political upheaval of the summer of 1967 and how the city responded.