Sixties Psychedelia: San Francisco Rock Posters from the Paul Maurer Collection
July 17, 2021 - April 24, 2022
The 1960s marked a tumultuous period in the social, political, and cultural history of the United States. Amid a generational reckoning with racial injustice, authoritarian patriarchy, and an escalating war in Vietnam, San Francisco emerged as the primary locus for a youth-oriented, anti-establishment counterculture that embraced a progressive idealism, which included broad-minded acceptance of sexual expression and experimentation with mind-altering hallucinogens. Inventive forms of music and art flourished among the movement’s devotees, fueling the rise of what became known as psychedelic rock, a musical genre rooted in early blues, jazz, and folk-based rock. Dance concerts, often accompanied by light shows, became the principal venue for the new sound, while the concert poster was its promotional vehicle.
In 2019, Minneapolis collector Paul Maurer gave more than 200 concert posters to Mia’s permanent collection. Most of them date to the “golden age” of psychedelic poster design (1966–69) and were commissioned to promote rock acts performing at the leading San Francisco concert venues of the day. In celebration of this generous gift, Mia is presenting a selection of more than 25 eye-dazzling psychedelic posters created by the period’s leading concert-poster designers, including Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, Wes Wilson, and Bob Fried.