In 1967, Irving Penn traveled to San Fran, where he witnessed a counterculture being born. In the years following, Dennis Stock went to California for five-week road trip up and down the coast, documenting the hippie counterculture at its peak, while Baron Wolman captured the enchantment of Woodstock in New York. By 1971, John Wehrheim had documented life in a hippie tree house village in Hawaii. Take a journey back in time with these photographs of the hippie movement.
“People spoke of a new kind of young people called hippies, and of an area where they had begun to congregate called Haight-Ashbury. They seemed to have found a satisfying new life for themselves in leaving the society they were born to and in making their own. It grew on me that I would like to look into the faces of these new San Francisco people through a camera in a daylight studio, against a simple background, away from their own daily circumstances. I suggested to the editors of Look magazine that they might care to have such a report. They said yes— hurry.” – Irving Penn
“For many years California frightened me; the contrasting arenas of life shook me up. Even though I found the sun and fog, sand and Sierras, which conveyed a firm image of stark reality, the mother vision of life, the state seemed unreal. The people were constructing layers and dimensions of life that unsettled me. Surrealism was everywhere, the juxtapositions of relative levels of reality projected chaos.” – Dennis Stock
As nearly half a million audience members flooded into Woodstock, most of them without tickets, Baron Wolman wove in and out of the tents and makeshift shelters that crowded the 600-acre land, documenting history as it unfolded before his eyes. Capturing a beautiful photo in this mythical landscape, he tells us, was “kind of like shooting fish in a fish bowl.”
John Wehrheim arrived in Kauai in 1971 at the age of twenty-three, bearing only a bag, a surfboard, and a bong. In exchange for his photographs at Taylor Camp, Wehrheim was paid in meals, weed, and parties, where clothing was always optional. Looking back, he affectionately calls it his “dream assignment.”