It was the climax of the hippie movement: In 1967 hundreds of thousands flocked to San Francisco to celebrate the Summer of Love. It was a time of profound changes, not only in society, but also in art, fashion, and music. Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, along with love and peace, participation became the watchword of an entire generation.
The exhibition “summer of love: art, fashion, and rock and roll” brings to life these culturally and politically important years at the PalaisPopulaire. The visions of this era still influence our thinking and ideas about cohabitation today, from feminism and sexual revolution to the peace and environmental movement. The show, conceived by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, presents over 150 objects and documents from the legendary summer of 1967: psychedelic art, iconic rock posters, Flower Power fashion, rare photographs, and record covers. The light show created by Bill Ham made concerts of bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead multimedia, multisensory events, which rave and techno would pick up on later. The ideals of the Summer of Love are topical again today. They impart a utopian spirit of renewal, particularly for a young generation that wants to takes its fate into its own hands and with protests and strikes embraces nonviolence, social justice, ecological awareness, and a new sense of community.
We hope that this exhibition will provide a renewed appreciation of the Summer of Love and the qualities that it promoted, including peace, community, and idealism. Fifty years on from this pivotal moment in history, we present it as both an electrifying tribute to the many inspired artists and activists and a hopeful reminder that signiﬁcant political and social change is possible when people lift their voices and stand together.
Curators: Jill D’Alessandro, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts; Colleen Terry, Associate Curator for the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, de Young Museum/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Friedhelm Hütte, Global Head of Art, Deutsche Bank
Organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in cooperation with Deutschen Bank