de Young Museum: The Summer of Love Experience

The de Young Museum gives an immersive and loving look back at the art, fashion, and music of the sixties

NowShareLove was privileged to be invited to the press opening of the Summer of Love Experience at the de Young Museum, where they were blessed to have one on one interviews with the curators of the exhibition, as well as some of the artists who shaped the imagery and culture of the 60’s, and even reported on the times for the press. We also got plenty of video footage so those who cannot make it to San Francisco to see the exhibition for themselves can enjoy our unique trip through the museum.

Stanley Mouse & Victor Moscoso

Helene Robertson

Ben Fong-Torres

First we ran into renown psychedelic poster artists Stanley Mouse and Victor Moscoso,  who shared what it was like to be both rivals and muses of and for one another, and how hallucinogens enhanced their creative output, which steadily improved in artistic quality over those formative years.

Next, we had the chance to talk with Helene Robertson, an influential fashion designer during the Summer of LOVE, about the inspirations behind her trend setting works of wearable art. She revealed that her mother was instrumental in putting together some of her most noteworthy counterculture fashions, like the “pie in the sky” sweater.

And if those rare interviews were not enough, NSL got to share a moment discussing the era with legendary American rock journalist, author, and broadcaster, Ben Fong-Torres, who most recently has been a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, but who became a household name through his depiction in the hit film “Almost Famous” as a Senior Editor for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Colleen Terry

Jill D’alessandro

Lastly, we got the inside scoop of this long awaited exhibition from the de Young Museum’s very own Colleen Terry – Assistant Curator of Graphic Arts and Jill D’alessandro – Curator of Textile Arts. It turns out that the entire exhibition was likely inspired originally by the fact that the deYoung is in possession of hundreds and hundreds of original concert posters from the 60’s and beyond. Furthermore, when the idea of this type of tribute to the Summer of Love was proposed to the director, his immediate response was that it must be done in the largest exhibition space in the museum. At last, a fitting tribute to this eponymous period in the history of San Francisco that shaped world culture to this day.

Stanley Mouse & Victor Moscoso

First we ran into renown psychedelic poster artists Stanley Mouse and Victor Moscoso,  who shared what it was like to be both rivals and muses of and for one another, and how hallucinogens enhanced their creative output, which steadily improved in artistic quality over those formative years.

Helene Robertson

Next, we had the chance to talk with Helene Robertson, an influential fashion designer during the Summer of LOVE, about the inspirations behind her trend setting works of wearable art. She revealed that her mother was instrumental in putting together some of her most noteworthy counterculture fashions, like the “pie in the sky” sweater.

Ben Fong-Torres

And if those rare interviews were not enough, NSL got to share a moment discussing the era with legendary American rock journalist, author, and broadcaster, Ben Fong-Torres, who most recently has been a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, but who became a household name through his depiction in the hit film “Almost Famous” as a Senior Editor for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Colleen Terry

Lastly, we got the inside scoop of this long awaited exhibition from the de Young Museum’s very own Colleen Terry – Assistant Curator of Graphic Arts and Jill D’alessandro – Curator of Textile Arts. It turns out that the entire exhibition was likely inspired originally by the fact that the deYoung is in possession of hundreds and hundreds of original concert posters from the 60’s and beyond. Furthermore, when the idea of this type of tribute to the Summer of Love was proposed to the director, his immediate response was that it must be done in the largest exhibition space in the museum. At last, a fitting tribute to this eponymous period in the history of San Francisco that shaped world culture to this day.

Jill D’alessandro

From the museum’s website:

“The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll is an exhilarating exhibition of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films. A 50th anniversary celebration of the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco summer of 1967, the exhibition presents more than 300 significant cultural artifacts of the time, including almost 150 objects from the Fine Arts Museums’ extensive permanent holdings, supplemented by key, iconic loans.

In the mid-1960s, artists, activists, writers, and musicians converged on Haight-Ashbury with hopes of creating a new social paradigm. By 1967, the neighborhood would attract as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation. The neighborhood became ground zero for their activities, and nearby Golden Gate Park their playground. The period is marked by groundbreaking developments in art, fashion, music, and politics. Local bands such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead were the progenitors of what would become known as the “San Francisco Sound,” music that found its visual counterpart in creative industries that sprang up throughout the region. Rock-poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson generated an exciting array of distinctive works featuring distorted hand-lettering and vibrating colors, while wildly creative light shows, such as those by Bill Ham and Ben Van Meter, served as expressions of the new psychedelic impulse.

Distinctive codes of dress also set members of the Bay Area counterculture apart from mainstream America. Local designers began to create fantastic looks using a range of techniques and materials, including leatherwork, hand-painting, knitting and crotchet, embroidery, repurposed denim, and tie-dye. These innovators included Birgitta Bjerke, aka 100% Birgitta; Mickey McGowan, aka the Apple Cobbler; Burray Olson; Jeanne Rose, and Helene Robertson.

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll commemorates an “only in San Francisco” social and aesthetic movement, and will remind museum visitors that in a time of international upheaval, the city played a vital role in changing society and amplifying the pulse of the nation.”

Exhibition runs: April 8, 2017 – August 20, 2017

Check out the de Young website for more information.

From the museum’s website:

“The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll is an exhilarating exhibition of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films. A 50th anniversary celebration of the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco summer of 1967, the exhibition presents more than 300 significant cultural artifacts of the time, including almost 150 objects from the Fine Arts Museums’ extensive permanent holdings, supplemented by key, iconic loans.

In the mid-1960s, artists, activists, writers, and musicians converged on Haight-Ashbury with hopes of creating a new social paradigm. By 1967, the neighborhood would attract as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation. The neighborhood became ground zero for their activities, and nearby Golden Gate Park their playground. The period is marked by groundbreaking developments in art, fashion, music, and politics. Local bands such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead were the progenitors of what would become known as the “San Francisco Sound,” music that found its visual counterpart in creative industries that sprang up throughout the region. Rock-poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson generated an exciting array of distinctive works featuring distorted hand-lettering and vibrating colors, while wildly creative light shows, such as those by Bill Ham and Ben Van Meter, served as expressions of the new psychedelic impulse.

Distinctive codes of dress also set members of the Bay Area counterculture apart from mainstream America. Local designers began to create fantastic looks using a range of techniques and materials, including leatherwork, hand-painting, knitting and crotchet, embroidery, repurposed denim, and tie-dye. These innovators included Birgitta Bjerke, aka 100% Birgitta; Mickey McGowan, aka the Apple Cobbler; Burray Olson; Jeanne Rose, and Helene Robertson.

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll commemorates an “only in San Francisco” social and aesthetic movement, and will remind museum visitors that in a time of international upheaval, the city played a vital role in changing society and amplifying the pulse of the nation.”

Exhibition runs: April 8, 2017 – August 20, 2017

Check out the de Young website for more information.

By | 2017-06-13T20:14:53+00:00 June 8th, 2017|