How Posters Helped Shape America and Change the World
One enthusiast's collection, on exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California, offers a sweeping look at grass-roots movements since the 1960s
- By Jeff Greenwald
- Smithsonian.com, May 23, 2012
(Bonnie Maclean, Bill Graham Presents in San Francisco: New Years Eve 1967-1968, 1967. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, All Of Us Or None Archive. Gift of The Rossman Family)
Cushing argues that poster production was jump-started in the late 1960s by concert impresario Bill Graham. With Graham’s support, visually stunning (and highly collectible) posters were produced not for protest, but to promote rock concerts and counterculture events. This one was created by Graham’s then wife, Philadelphia-born artist Bonnie MacLean. The two met in 1964, when the 21-year-old MacLean moved to San Francisco and took a job as a secretary at a manufacturing firm; Graham was her manager. This beautiful poster suggests welcoming 1968 with Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver—all for $6, breakfast included.