Alton Kelly, American, 1940-2008; Stanley Mouse, American, born 1940. “Skull and Roses,” Grateful Dead, Oxford Circle, September 16-17, Avalon Ballroom, 1966, color lithograph, Gift of Paul Maurer and Scott West 2019.59.27

Sixties Psychedelia: San Francisco Rock Posters from the Paul Maurer Collection

Sixties Psychedelia: San Francisco Rock Posters from the Paul Maurer Collection

July 17, 2021 - April 24, 2022
Gallery 316
Free Exhibition

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.

Alton Kelly, American, 1940-2008; Stanley Mouse, American, born 1940. “Skull and Roses,” Grateful Dead, Oxford Circle, September 16-17, Avalon Ballroom, 1966, color lithograph, Gift of Paul Maurer and Scott West 2019.59.27