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.
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.
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
“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
General museum admission is free on the first Saturday, but does
not include this show. For information, see www.denverartmuseum.org or
Other items that may interest you
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.