San Gregario Beach, a few miles down the coast from Half Moon Bay, got a name for its solitude in the sixties. The San Francisco Examiner heard that hippies were running around nude in a secluded section of the beach and the gawkers came in droves. Grown men and women walking the beach nude in plain sight of buzzing aircraft, and peeping tourists. The nude beach phenomenon was additional gress for a growing protest by hippies and nightclub comedians highlighting the times.
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.