Whatever you may have heard, countercultural Berkeley did not materialize, Brigadoon-like, out of the marijuana haze of a Vietnam War protest. Long before there was a Berkeley Barb or a How Berkeley Can You Be? parade, there were Berkeley bohemians. And Charles Augustus Keeler, by the standards of proto-hippiedom, was Sgt. Pepper.
In 1956, the artist Jess Collins returned to the Bay Area from Europe with his partner, poet Robert Duncan. He needed money, and Berkeley cineaste-cum-seamstress, cook and part-time copywriter Pauline Kael hired him to execute a series of murals on the walls of her brown-shingled home in Berkeley.
Posted on July 9, 2014 - 3:35pm