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Poster - Bill Graham Presents

Bill Graham Presents

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    San Francisco (designed)

  • Date:

    1970 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Orr, Norman, born 1949 (illustrators)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lithography on card stock

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Fillmore in San Francisco is a historic music venue, named after its original location at the intersection of Fillmore Street and Geary Boulevard. Known as the Fillmore Auditorium in the mid-1960s, concert promoter Bill Graham began a series of concerts featuring bands from the counterculture of the time. In 1968, due to his spiralling success, he moved to a larger venue which he named Fillmore West. Having closed in 1971, and after extensive repair work to fix earthquake damage, Graham's venue was revived when Live Nation reopened the original Fillmore venue in 1994.

San Francisco in the mid-1960s was the hub of the LSD and Hippie scene and the cultural and political rebellion of 1967's Summer of Love. The resulting influence of these factors on the artists of the area created the fantastic psychedelic posters of the Fillmore. Art dealer Jacaeber Kastor said of the posters, "They couldn't just tell you the information about the show. They had to tell you what kind of people you might meet, what kind of far out trip you might have or perhaps even reveal the mysteries of the universe. Wow. Quantum mechanics, visual mudwrestling, Acid test pop quiz on a phone pole!"

The artist of this poster, Norman Orr, was one of the last artists to be commissioned to create posters for the Fillmore before it shut down in 1971. His influences came from 19th century graphics and the history of the American West and the plight of the Indians. He honed his drawing skills whilst working as a farmhand and, having sold his first piece in 1970 to a print shop in Berkeley, his approached the Fillmore. His posters echoed those of his predecessors, combining pop culture with political topicality, but his designs had an added eye for detail and craftsmanship.

This gig featured a performance by the band Hot Tuna. They began during a hiatus in Jefferson Airplane's touring schedule in early 1969 while singer Grace Slick was undergoing recovery from throat node surgery that had left her unable to perform. They were supported by the Allman Brothers, a band who have been called the principal architects of Southern rock. They also incorporated elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows had jam band-style improvisation and instrumental songs.

Physical description

Poster advertising Hot Tuna (Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen & Friends), Allman Brothers and a 24 piece Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, performing 28-31 January 1970 at Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco. Black background with illustration. Text in yellow and pink.

Place of Origin

San Francisco (designed)


1970 (designed)


Orr, Norman, born 1949 (illustrators)

Materials and Techniques

Lithography on card stock


Height: 53.8 cm, Width: 35.7 cm

Object history note

Transferred as part of a collection from the Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, in 1985.

Descriptive line

Poster advertising Hot Tuna (Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen & Friends), Allman Brothers and a 24 piece Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, performing 28-31 January 1970 at Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Poster Collecting. Fillmore Poster. 06 August 2010.

Lemke, Gayle The Art of the Fillmore 1966-71, Thunder's Mouth Press, New York, 1999


Entertainment & Leisure; Advertising


Theatre and Performance Collection

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