Two museum of Fine Arts employees handed out vouchers for a free scoop of ice cream and invited college students, many of whom dressed in vintage clothing, to “Throwback Thursday: A ‘Hippie Chic’ College Welcome.”
On Thursday, September 26 in front of the MFA’s Huntington entrance stood two Volkswagen vans. The vans were painted with psychedelic images and the faces of the Beatles, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and other musicians from the ’60s and ’70s. Visitors were encouraged to come dressed in their “funkiest threads,” explore the vans, take photographs and come inside the museum.
Upon entering the museum, undergraduates were reminded that with their university identification card they always have access to free admission to all exhibits, 20% off concert tickets, 10% off MFA shop purchases and $5 film tickets on regularly priced screenings.
Guards directed students to the exhibit “Hippie Chic,” which had opened on July 16th this year. Inside the gallery, a jukebox that anyone could use played songs by bands like the Rolling Stones, the Doors, and Led Zeppelin.
Visitors imitated the poses of the 54 manikins dressed in colorful vintage clothing and danced, sometimes warranting a warning from the guard on duty. According to the guard, Patrick H., the majority of people attending the event were college students. The one group of visitors that didn’t fit that description consisted of five middle-aged women, who joined the dancing undergraduates.
“We were real live hippies! But we made it! We’re here now!” said Anne Sodini, who preferred not to disclose her exact age.
Retaining the energy and sense of wonder of a twenty-year-old for a lifetime seems like a daunting task, but this exhibit and the visitors in it proved that it is more than possible–it’s reality!