Browse Exhibits (3 total)

The Rise and Fall of the Summer of Love

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A collection of objects showing the anti-establishment message that defined the burgeoning counterculture movement as seen through the music and poetry that came out of the Summer of Love. The summer of 1967 was the beginning of the popularization of the anti-establishment, which was embodied by the artistic creativity of its members. The movement begins with a carefree, peaceful atmosphere but the rising drug culture of the time eventually ascends to greater prominence. The use of psychedelic drugs not only by the members of the counterculture, but also by the artists producing the soundtrack of the Summer of Love helps define the mood and tone of the time. While the counterculture began with idealistic thoughts of love and peace, the ultimate lack of direction and productivity made the Summer of Love an idealistic escape that turned into a drug-induced nightmare, instead of a legitimate social movement that led to wipespread cultural change.

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Dropping Out: Intentional Communities of the Counterculture

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Inspired by the rallying cry of the counterculture to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," many young men and women left tradiitonal society during the 1960s in favor of a great unknown within an intentional community. These intentional communities, or communes, have a long history but found their heyday in the hearts of the hippies. Such communities bred their own culture, inspired by the counterculture at large and yet, utterly unique in their daily life, values and social structures. This exhibit opens with a brief examination of both the history of the counterculture and intentional communities themselves in order to better contextualize the primary focus on life in the 1960s hippie commune. Use the following pages to familiarize yourself with major themes of the counterculture, hippie living, communes today, and more. 

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Music Propels the Counterculture

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The counterculture movement of the 1960’s became largely about breaking the rules and making a change to better the future of Americans. This movement, more commonly known as the hippie movement, was much more widespread and arguably, more successful than its previous counterparts. This is because of its unique origins rooted in the prosperity of the 1950's and because this counterculture infiltrated every aspect of American culture through various parts of popular culture, specifically music. As music spread the ideas and appearances of the hippies, the counterculture affected music as well. This can be seen through the evolution of two mainstream rock and roll bands, The Beach Boys and the Beatles, from 1962-1969. Through an examination of changes in topics, lyrics, instrumentation, and styles of each band, one can see the great and lasting affects of the hippies on American culture.  

 

 

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