Be sure to check out The Knowledge Box, a chamber of images and graphics designed by Emory Douglas for the Black Panthers.

By Melissa Locker
September 28, 2015
Hippie Modernism Walker Art Center
Credit: Cameron Wittig / Walker Art Center

In the early 1960s, it was not totally uncommon for shop owners to post signs: “Hippies Use Side Door.” Now, the one-time counter culture is getting ready to walk in through the front entrance of Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center. Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, which opens October 24.

The new exhibition shows how the social and political upheaval in the 1960s and 1970s affected change in art, architecture, and design. As political turmoil and demand for societal change swept through the streets, artists and designers sought ways to create a utopia far from the maddening crowd.

Abrams Hello Dali Hippie Modernism
Credit: Courtesy of Issac Abrams / Walker Art Center

Loosely arranged around Timothy Leary’s famous mantra, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” the exhibition is the product of a partnership with the Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive. How, exactly, does a utopia of the love era manifest itself? Alternative living structures, experimental furniture, an indoor citrus orchard grown entirely with artificial light, and a room-sized chamber called The Knowledge Box that will immerse viewers into a world of images and graphics designed by Emory Douglas for the Black Panthers.

In addition to the art installations, the show will feature ephemera from the era, including alternative press, experimental film, architectural designs, and illustrations documenting the quest for communal living.

The show runs through February 28. 2016. Get more information here.