‘Wear some flowers in your hair’ to art museum

Posted 3/26/09

Walk through the double doors of the large second floor gallery and you are transported to San Francisco, specifically the corner of Haight and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

‘Wear some flowers in your hair’ to art museum


Walk through the double doors of the large second floor gallery and you are transported to San Francisco, specifically the corner of Haight and Ashbury, circa 1965, via a floor-to-ceiling photo of happy residents and a street sign.

And you are surrounded by music of that very particular time and place, a period that has greatly influenced subsequent society and art.

“The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area, 1965-71” is open at the Denver Art Museum through July 19, including more than 300 works selected from 875 posters and related works partially donated by meticulous collector David Tippet of Boulder, with additional purchase funds from the museum’s Architecture, Design and Graphics Department and money donated by volunteers in honor of former curator R. Craig Miller.

While the pictured poster by Lee Conklin is printed in black and white, rather than the eye-popping color of most posters exhibited, it does showcase the elaborate typography, Art Nouveau inspiration and listing of concerts at Bill Graham’s iconic Fillmore West.

The first gallery shows the earliest work and curator Darrin Alfred, who joined the museum staff in 2007 after a stint at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, has arranged the exhibit chronologically, focusing especially on eight artists.

Extras include a light show designed for Jefferson Airplane, film of a Grateful Dead Concert, cases with album covers and handbills designed by these artists and early undergound comics by Rick Griffin, R. Crum.

Alfred described the exhibit as “a record of a time and place: hippie attitude, hard-edge rock, San Francisco sound, drugs …”

Part of that atmosphere is also experienced via a next-door example of hippie decor: an apartment replete with blinking lights, colorful Indian bedspreads liberally spread over overstuffed sofas and chairs, art on the walls and of course, music. Don’t miss this bit of time travel.

The eight artists highlighted include Wes Wilson; Bonnie McLean, the only woman and Graham’s wife; Stanley Mouse, who collaborated with Alton Kelly on designs; Yale University trained Victor Mosco, who studied color theory with Josef Albers; extraordinary draftsman Lee Conklin; Rick Griffin, who started comics in Southern California and migrated to the scene; David Singer, the last to work with Bill Graham, using collage and inventive lettering.

Allow time to look closely at these intricate graphics, which continue to influence today’s artists. Find not only Art Nouveau and other 19th century images, but wild west, Winnie the Pooh, Native American and other inspirations. “Appropriations,” Mouse and Kelly called them, when speaking of their reliance on illustrations from the public library and other resources.

If you go

The Denver Art Museum is on 13th Avenue between Broadway and Bannock streets. Entrance to parking is from 12th Avenue.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; until 10 p.m. Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Special ticket admission for the “Psychedelic Experience” exhibit is $15, $12, $7 ages 6-18; free for younger than 6, free for members.

General museum admission is free on the first Saturday, but does not include this show. For information, see www.denverartmuseum.org or call 720-913-0169.

Art show


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.