When Psychedelia Flowered in the North Bay

Dec 13, 2016

This 1965 concert poster for the seminal San Francisco band, The Charlatans (which included Santa Rosa-connected Dan Hicks) is considered the "seed" of the poster art genre. It's on display at the History Museum of Sonoma County.
Credit History Museum of Sonoma County

As the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's “Summer of Love” approaches, a new exhibit at the Sonoma County Museum examines that how era played out in the North Bay.

The North Bay was a low-key, out-of-town "incubator" for musicians from the San Francisco scene, observes Eric Stanley, curator for the History Museum of Sonoma  County.

History Museum curator Eric Stanley with a large and iconic poster by artist Stanley Mouse, now a Sonoma County resident.
Credit Bruce Robinson, KRCB

One small room at the museum is currently dedicated to artifacts and pictures from what is now the Olompali State Historic Park, north of Novato, an estate where the Grateful Dead decamped for a short time. The highlight here, says Stanley, is a series of informal portraits by photographer Herb Greene, who is  known for his extensive work with the Dead and other San Francisco bands.

The Beat Goes On exhibit goes on through April 2nd. The History Museum of Sonoma County is open Tuesdays through Sundays at 425 7th street in downtown Santa Rosa. 

A Stanley Mouse self-portrait

Legendary poster artist Stanley Mouse, long a Sonoma County resident, consulted with Stanley in the preparation of the museum's exhibit. Mouse was also profiled in a 2010 North Bay Report feature, which you can hear from our archives.