The Charlatans, Golden Gate Park, and photographer Gene Anthony embodied the Summer of Love, San Francisco, 1967. Captured here by Anthony's ever-prolific lens, the Charlatans, one of the pioneering bands of the rock 'n' roll counterculture, perform amidst a star splattered backdrop emblazoned with words that, 40 years later, have come to represent a time of cultural revolution and social ideals. The Charlatan's music recalled jug band blues and psychedelic innovation, and helped pave the way for a musical movement.
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Thousands of people flocked to the corner of Haight and Ashbury during the Summer of Love, but few saw the unfolding phenomenon as clearly as Gene Anthony did. From his apartment one block up the hill, he witnessed the extraordinary pilgrimage of young people from across the country as they trooped to San Francisco in search of answers, approval and love, and he captured the compelling vignettes through his telling lens. Anthony's photographic talent, subjects and well-deserved acclaim extend far beyond the psychedelic period, but his ability to capture a mood on a face or the essence of an era from a simple street sign was recognized and refined during that time. His photographs have, in turn, become the myriad faces of the Summer of Love.