When Art Rocked:
San Francisco Music Posters 1966–1971
Departures – Level 3 – Pre-Security
September 2014 – March 2015
From 1966 to 1971, an unprecedented quantity of extraordinary graphic art was produced in the San Francisco Bay Area. This resulted from the demand for posters, handbills, and flyers advertising rock concerts in San Francisco. The two main patrons of this proliferation of posters were Bill Graham – who promoted concerts at the Fillmore and Chet Helms, leader of an organization called the Family Dog, which produced concerts at the Avalon Ballroom.
Poster artists were often inspired by Art Nouveau masters such as Alphonse Mucha whose blocky lettering was made psychedelic by Wes Wilson. Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse were further drawn to advertising art and appropriated images. Mouse and a Southern California artist named Rick Griffin were also infatuated with the artwork that grew out of hot-rod car culture. Victor Moscoso, on the other hand, created posters that nearly vibrated before the viewer’s eyes.
This exhibition features over 150 posters created by these five artists along with many lesser-known artists who designed posters for shows at the Fillmore and Avalon featuring bands such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and the Thirteenth Floor Elevators.
Guest curator Ben Marks is the Senior Editor of CollectorsWeekly.com and the Vice-President of The Rock Poster Society, whose members kindly loaned all of the posters, postcards, handbills, tickets, and other ephemera for this exhibition.
View the exhibition online.
When Art Rocked is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport. The exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from September 29, 2014, to March 22, 2015. There is no charge to view the exhibition.
About SFO Museum
SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features twenty-five galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit www.flysfo.com/museum.
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