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Poster - Bill Graham Presents

Bill Graham Presents

  • Object:

    Poster

  • 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:

    S.733-2010

  • 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 Paul Butterfield Blues Band, who had previously performed with Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, during the infamous concert where he was backed by electric guitar for the first time. Also on the bill was Buddy Miles, who had previously been the drummer in Jimi Hendrix's band, but was an excellent singer in his own right.

Physical description

Poster advertising Butterfield Blues Band, Buddy Miles and Quatermass performing December 18 to 20 1970, and Incredible String Band on the 14 December, and an Evening with Ravi Shankar on 16 December at Fillmore West, San Francisco. Pale yellow, brown and white illustrated print.

Place of Origin

San Francisco (designed)

Date

1970 (designed)

Artist/maker

Orr, Norman, born 1949 (illustrators)

Materials and Techniques

Lithography on card stock

Dimensions

Height: 53.9 cm, Width: 35.6 cm

Object history note

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

Descriptive line

Poster advertising Butterfield Blues Band, Buddy Miles and Quatermass performing December 18 to 20 1970, and Incredible String Band on the 14 December, and an Evening with Ravi Shankar on 16 December at Fillmore West, 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

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Advertising

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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