summer of love at the mfa boston.

“One pill makes you larger And one pill makes you small And the ones that mother gives you Don’t do anything at all Go ask Alice When she’s ten feet tall”
– Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting “The Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design” exhibit, currently showing at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit, on view until October 22, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Summer of Love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Visitor’s can take in more than 120 posters, album covers and photographs that center around the artists, albums and performances of an iconic moment in culture and music.

As a student of graphic design, I was particularly interested in the trends that emerged at this time around typography. Throughout the exhibit, visitors can see a trend in type which mimics the movement of lava lamps and sets reverberating colors in contrast on both album covers and concert posters. This effect is used deliberately and forces readers to engage more closely with the art in order to read words on the page. As a web designer, I know the effort that is spent in today’s digital media to ensure contrast and legibility standards so it struck me that 50 years ago the design trends of the moment encouraged just the opposite.

The MFA and their contributors generously allow visitors to use photography throughout the exhibit, and encourage sharing via social media (#SummerOfLove). I took a handful of photos while there which I’ve shared below. Enjoy!

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