In the late 1960s, San Francisco was the epicenter of counterculture. Thousands of people converged on the city for gatherings of like-minded people who shunned mainstream society and embraced the free-thinking progressive nature of the hippie movement. During that time, the intersection of art, music and drug use was potent. Out of that, a new art form flourished: psychedelic rock and roll posters.

A new art center in San Francisco will feature those posters starting Saturday. The “Art of Consciousness” exhibit at the Haight Street Art Center runs through September and will display 90 posters from 1965-1967. Rare and never-before-seen posters from the most popular and regarded poster artists at the time — the Big Five — Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso and Wes Wilson —  will be among the posters shown. 

The exhibit has some notable selections, including the poster for the last Beatles concert and a legendary Grateful Dead poster — called Hawaiian Aoxomoxoa —for a concert series in Hawaii that was eventually canceled. Legend has it, the posters for the shows were burned and only 20-25  of the original remain. 

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions