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Psychedelic Rock Posters and Fashion of the 1960s

Oct 19, 2024 - Mar 30, 2025
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
Included with general admission
General accessibility

Psychedelic Rock Posters and Fashion of the 1960s reveals the passion and creativity of the era through the iconic rock posters of San Francisco and beyond. The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco was an incubator for ideas, expression, social thought, and, above all, music. Young people from across the nation gathered there to explore alternative ways of living and to challenge contemporary paradigms. At the heart of it all was the psychedelic experience, or an altered state of consciousness.

To capture the heady experience of life and music at this time, poster artists invented a graphic language to communicate the excitement of rock concerts, which featured liquid light shows and film projections. They drew on disparate historical precedents such as Art Nouveau, Wild West posters, and Victorian engraving and combined them with vibrating color, inventive lettering, and witty and provocative design. The exhibition brings together more than 200 rock posters, including work by the “big five” designers of the day—Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson—as well as other superb talents, such as Bonnie MacLean and Bob “Raphael” Schnepf.

Fashion both reflected and influenced the psychedelic look of the posters. The exhibition showcases approximately 20 eclectic vintage styles ranging from embroidered denim and hippy fringe to crochet and velvet.

Psychedelic Rock Posters and Fashion of the 1960s draws from the collection of the Portland Art Museum, most of which comes from a major donation from Gary Westford, who serves as a consultant on the project. Key loans round out the visual story of the psychedelic era.

The exhibition is curated by Mary Weaver Chapin, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings. Supported in part by Exhibition Series Sponsors.