Art inspired by the musical spirit of the 1960s and 70s merges together in an exhibit at the James A. Michener Art Museum this spring.
“Rock On! The Art of the Music Poster from the 60s and 70s,” features more than 100 pieces from a wide range of artists and musicians. The exhibit spans two decades of rock, from psychedelic to early punk, and will please both art and music lovers.
Posters encompass a variety of rock musicians and groups from the classic rock era. Subjects featured in the gallery start with early 60s icons like the Beatles and Bob Dylan and end with the early punk movement in the late 70s with the Ramones and the Clash.
Many famous images are showcased in the exhibit. Some of the most recognizable are the Woodstock poster of a guitar and dove, as well as the trippy yellow and pink John Lennon poster done by Richard Avedon for Look magazine. Other notable works include posters done for Pink Floyd’s The Wall album and the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen.
But it is not just the music of the 60s and 70s that is being showcased in “Rock On!” The exhibit encourages patrons to view the posters as serious as works of art.
“These posters represented a unique marriage between what the graphic artists were doing and what these music groups and individuals were working toward,” said curator Graziella Marchicelli in a release for the event. Marchicelli is a curator for the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, which loaned the artwork to the Michener.
“The quality of these posters is really fantastic. It’s the kind of thing that’s really difficult to obtain these days,” Marchicelli said.
Milton Glaser, one of the more prominent graphic designers of the time, is represented with his famous Bob Dylan poster that shows a silhouette of Dylan’s face with multicolored hair. Glaser also designed the popular “I Love New York” logo often seen on T-shirts.
Another of the era’s famous artists, Peter Max, is represented only in a collage piece of various musicians.
Other famous artists shown include Alton Kelly and Stanley Mouse, creators of the Grateful Dead’s skull and rose design. Designer Jamie Reid is also represented by his work for early British punk bands. “Never Mind The Bollocks… Here’s The Sex Pistols!”
Like the music, the art translates the spirit of these two decades into another medium.
“I made it my mission to translate my psychedelic experience onto paper. The afterglow was always the most creative time for me,” Lee Conklin said on a plaque next to a poster depicting multiple images within a lion for musician Carlos Santana.
The exhibit runs from Feb. 7 through May 23 at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown. Admission is only $8 for students with ID.
Torin Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org