Current Exhibition

Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71

June 3 – August 27, 2017

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University is pleased to present a major exhibition, Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71, opening June 3 and continuing through August 27, 2017, in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery and the Maribeth Collins Lobby.

Organized by artist Gary Westford and drawn from his extensive personal collection in celebration of the 50th anniversary of “The Summer of Love,” this exhibition features more than 100 iconic posters, historic photographs, and related ephemera that highlight the development of the “psychedelic” art style. Twenty examples of clothing chart the influence of psychedelia on the worlds of both street and high fashion. The exhibition will also feature a light show by Bill Ham who created the revolutionary swirling backdrops to many legendary rock concerts of the time. This exhibition is accompanied by a variety of lectures, films, and gallery talks, as well as a children’s art camp (more details). 

Looking Back to the 60s
The 1960s was a radical and cultural watershed period in American history. The civil rights, women’s liberation, and LGBTQ movements, as well as the sexual revolution and widespread opposition and polarization regarding the Vietnam War, led to a search for new societal, cultural, and individual identities. This search would lead 20,000 Americans from various walks of life to attend “A Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In,” a happening held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967. The “Summer of Love” would soon follow as the streets of the city overflowed with people eager to proclaim a new “countercultural” order.

Psychedelic
It was against this backdrop that a new “psychedelic” culture, music, fashion, and poster scene would form, with music provided by San Francisco bands including The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and Quicksilver Messenger Service, among many others. A radical new breed of poster-makers, including Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Rick Griffin, David Singer, and Bonnie MacLean, would develop an innovative design style that featured ballooned lettering fonts, dissonant color, and references to Pop and Op art as well as Art Nouveau. The “San Francisco Sound” and revolution in poster-making had begun.


Companion Exhibitions

In conjunction with the “Behind the Beyond” exhibition, two companion exhibitions have been planned. Turned On!: The American Blacklight Poster, 1967-71 will be presented in the Study Gallery, while The 60s: Pop and Op Art Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, will be shown in the Print Study Center. The Pop and Op art movements, in particular, significantly influenced the development of psychedelic posters and fashion.

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Turned On!: The American Blacklight Poster, 1967-71
May 13 - July 16, 2017
Study Gallery
More information

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The 60s: Pop and Op Art Prints from the
Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

May 13 - October 22, 2017
Print Study Center
More information


Related Events

In conjunction with the exhibition, a wide variety of lectures, films, gallery talks, as well as a children’s art camp have been planned.

Lecture
Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71
Presented by Gary Westford
Friday, June 2, 2017 at 5 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public

Gary Westford will provide a brief overview of the psychedelic music and poster movements in San Francisco, the artists who made them, and their artistic influences. It will include examples of poster work done for Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium, and Chet Helm’s Family Dog, as well as other venues in the city. In addition, he will also explore the blacklight poster movement and touch on the stylistic diversity in fashion, from both hippie and Haute Couture perspectives.

Museum Members Opening Reception
Friday, June 2, 2017, 6 - 8 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Cost
Museum Members and Invited Guests: complimentary
Non-members: $5/person suggested donation at the door

New Members: are welcome to join at the event or online
RSVP Online 
Or by phone at 503-370-6855 or by email at museum-art@willamette.edu

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Lecture
From Seed to Flower:
The Evolution of the Psychedelic Poster in
San Francisco Before the Summer of Love, 1965-67
Presented by Scott Montgomery
Associate Professor, Art History, University of Denver
Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public

Scott Montgomery will trace the origins and development of the psychedelic poster in San Francisco over its initial, formative period, from its embryonic manifestations in “The Seed,” the seminal poster for the Charlatan’s psychedelic residency at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada, in June 1965, to the full blossoming of the psychedelic style by the onset of The Summer of Love in June 1967. Grounded in the so-called hippie movement, the psychedelic poster emerged as a visual litmus test for being “turned-on” or hip. During this long “Psychedelic Spring,” of June 1965 to June 1967, the psychedelic poster was a primary visual means through which the San Francisco counterculture spoke to itself, fashioning its most powerful artistic visual identity.

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Gallery Talk
Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Presented by Gary Westford
Tours will commence at 12:30 p.m. in the Maribeth Collins Lobby
Free and open to the public

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Film Showing
The 60s: The Years That Shaped a Generation

2005, color, 114 minutes
Thursday, June 22, 2017  |  7 p.m.
Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

The 1960s was a defining chapter in America's history. It was a time when a generation rebelled and lost its innocence. From the Vietnam War to the struggle for racial equality, and from the sexual revolution to the birth of the counterculture movement, the 1960s was a decade of change, experimentation, and hope that transformed a nation.  

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Kids Summer Art Camp
SUMMER ART BLAST 2017: Feeling Groovy, Making Art 
Hallie Ford Museum of Art 
June 26-30, 2017 
9 a.m. to noon 
Ages 8-12 
Class limit: 10 students 
Pre-registration required by June 9, 2017 
HFMA Members: $108; Non-members: $120 
All supplies provided.

More information

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Gallery Talk
Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71
Tuesday, July 11, 2017  | 12:30 p.m.
Presented by Gary Westford
Tours will commence in the Maribeth Collins Lobby
Free and open to the public
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Film Showing
Monterey Pop

1968, color, 78 minutes
Thursday, July 13, 2017 | 7 p.m.
Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival was presented, ushering in a new era of rock and roll. The pop festival would launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, as well as highlight the extraordinary talents of the Who, the Byrds, and the amazing Ravi Shankar. 

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Film Showing
American Experience: Summer of Love

2007, color, 60 minutes
Thursday, July 27, 2017 | 7 p.m.
Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

In the summer of 1967, thousands of young people flocked to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district to join the hippie experience, only to discover that what they had come for was already disappearing. By 1968 the celebration of free love and music had descended into a maelstrom of drug abuse, broken dreams, and violence.

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Film Showing
Gimme Shelter

1970, color, 91 minutes
Rated R
Thursday, August 10, 2017 | 7 p.m.
Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour, including the bloody clash between members of the Love Generation and a handful of Hell's Angels at a concert at the Altamont Speedway in San Francisco in the summer of 1969 that transformed a decade's dreams into disillusionment.

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Gallery Talk

Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71
Tuesday, August 15, 2017  | 12:30 p.m.
Presented by Gary Westford
Tours will commence in the Maribeth Collins Lobby
Free and open to the public



Publication

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Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966−1971
Essay © 2017 by Gary Westford
© 2017 by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Softcover, full color, 32 pages
Available at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art starting 6/2/2017
$12.95

More information


Financial Support

Financial support for the exhibition and book was provided by generous gifts from Collier Law, Salem, Oregon, and Wolfgang's Vault, Reno, Nevada. Additional support was provided by an endowment gift from the Hallie Ford Exhibition Fund; by general operating support grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission; and by gifts from Nathan Good Architects, PC, and the BAM Agency, Salem, Oregon.

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