Exhibition Offers “Groovy Gay Look” at San Francisco’s 1967 Summer of Love

This spring and summer, many San Francisco cultural organisations are sponsoring special events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love. The GLBT History Museum is taking part by mounting a new exhibition set to open April 7: "Lavender-tinted Glasses: A Groovy, Gay Look at the 'Summer of Love."

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Alan Ginsberg dancing to the Grateful Dead at the Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park (1967). Photo: Copyright © 1967 Lisa Law.

“In San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district, young people were seeking a way out of what they saw as the soul-destroying alienation of materialism,” curator Joey Cain says. “They created new art, philosophies, politics, forms of self-expansion, music and relationships. The city already had a dynamic LGBTQ community, and many members saw the developments of the Summer of Love as opening the way to greater liberation.”

“Lavender-Tinted Glasses” tells this story by highlighting the roles of four queers in the making of the Summer of Love: poet Allen Ginsberg, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, philosopher Gavin Arthur and singer Janis Joplin. All of them brought their perspectives as artists, visionaries and sexual outsiders to the uprising; all made a lasting impact on American culture. In addition, the exhibition documents the ways San Francisco’s homophile community responded.

Alan Ginsberg dancing to the Grateful Dead at the Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park (1967). Photo: Copyright © 1967 Lisa Law.
Alan Ginsberg dancing to the Grateful Dead at the Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park (1967). Photo: Copyright © 1967 Lisa Law.

“Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy, Gay Look at the ‘Summer of Love” opens Friday, April 7, with a public reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum at 4127 18th St. in San Francisco. Admission is $5.00; free for members. The show runs through September 27. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org/museum.

Alan Ginsberg dancing to the Grateful Dead at the Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park (1967). Photo: Copyright © 1967 Lisa Law.