On the cusp of the 1970’s, San Francisco was a veritable hub of culture. This series of vintage photographs, taken by the late William Gedney in 1968 captures the spirit of the streets–from the peaceful hippies to the wild radicals. Known for its tolerance and multiculturalism, outcasts and the socially marginalized flocked to San Franciso and, in doing so, formed an eclectic community that Gedney’s street photography celebrates.
The American documentarian and street photographer’s work gained widespread recognition posthumously. He is now well-known for his photographic travel series that document communities around the world, including Brooklyn, India, and this set of vintage snapshots of San Francisco. His collection of photos portray individualism and a strong sense of counter-culture that characterised the city at the time.
These black and white portraits of San Francisco street life in 1968 capture the anything-goes attitude, and the wide range of faces and personalities that coloured the streets in an era of peace, love, and experimentation.
All images via Duke University Libraries.