The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll Closes with Record Attendance Numbers

Installation view of "The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll" at the de Young Museum

Installation view of "The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll" at the de Young Museum

SAN FRANCISCO - More than 25,000 museum visitors crowded in for a chance to see The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll in its final week before closing on August 20. Over its 19-week run, almost 270,000 visitors from around the world came to the de Young to relive the Summer of Love, making the exhibition the highest attended since Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis debuted at the de Young in 2013. The record numbers also extended to online interest, with almost 400,000 visitors browsing exhibition web offerings. The Summer of Love Digital Story, part of a series of free educational online guides initiated by Max Hollein, Director and CEO, alone drew almost 40,000 visits, making it the most-read digital publication thus far. 

Additional educational programs and publications developed by the de Young in conjunction with the exhibition proved popular, with guided tours fully booked within days of the release date and the highest number of audio tours sold in recent years. In May, young audiences explored ways to unite and support each other on important social issues on “Teens Take Action Day,” arranged by the museum’s Teen Advisory Board, and “The Far-out Guide to the Gallery” accompanied young visitors throughout the run of the exhibition. The extensive 340-page hardcover catalogue was the highest selling exhibition catalogue in almost five years and the 40-page soft cover Pictorial sold out completely before the exhibition closed.

Next up at the de Young is Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire opening September 30. The result of a 30-year collaboration with the Mexican Government, the exhibition will explore the mystery surrounding the ancient city through more than 200 artifacts, many recently excavated and on view for the first time. At the Legion of Honor, the opening of KLIMT & RODIN: An Artistic Encounter on October 14, is eagerly anticipated.  The exhibition marks the centenary of the deaths of both artists, and is the first to explore a broad range of Klimt’s oeuvre on the West coast, focuses on the artists’ meeting at the Vienna Secession in 1902 and explores shared touch points and developments in the two pioneering artists’ practices.

About The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll
On the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the exhibition The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll at the de Young museum commemorated an “only in San Francisco” social and aesthetic movement, reminding visitors that in a time of international upheaval, the city played a vital role in changing society and amplifying the pulse of the nation. With more than 400 objects, the exhibition was a massive, immersive experience with fashion, light shows, music, psychedelic rock posters, avant-garde film and photographs from the hippie period when artists and activists gathered in San Francisco.

This exhibition was organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Presenting Sponsor: Anonymous, in honor of Max Hollein. President’s Circle: Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, and Diane B. Wilsey. Benefactor’s Circle: Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman, and Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund. Patron’s Circle: Levi’s, Yurie and Carl Pascarella, Edith and Joseph O. Tobin II, M.H. de Young Tobin II, and The Paul L. Wattis Foundation. Additional support provided by Nancy and Joachim Bechtle; Jack Calhoun and Trent Norris; Lauren Hall and David Hearth; Debbie and Blake Jorgensen; Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation, in memory of Ben and A. Jess Shenson; Dorothy Saxe; and Christine Suppes.

About the de Young Museum
The de Young museum originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in October 2005. It holds the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries; art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.

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