Wes Wilson


“Wes Wilson is generally acknowledged as the father of the 60s rock concert poster. In 1968, he received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts for ‘his contributions to American Art.’ He pioneered what is now known as the psychedelic poster. … As Carr’s assistant and partner, Wes Wilson did the basic layout and design for most of the work Carr brought in through contacts in San Francisco’s North Beach coffeehouse poetry and jazz club scene. In 1965, Contact Printing was well-positioned to serve San Francisco’s burgeoning counterculture. It produced handbills for the San Francisco Mime Troupe fundraising benefits, the so-called ‘Appeal’ parties, as well as for the Merry Prankster Acid Tests. Both were linked to the newly reborn dance-hall venues through a series of benefit concerts, so it is no surprise that the dance-hall promoters soon found their way to the Contact press. Wes Wilson’s first poster was self-published. Done in 1965, it features a swastika within an American flag motif, a protest by Wilson to the ever-increasing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.  Wilson designed the handbill for the Trips Festival. He attended the event and was deeply moved by what he saw and experienced. Wes Wilson had also been doing the posters for promoter Chet Helms’ shows at the Straight Theatre. It was Wilson who designed the original logo for the Family Dog and who did the posters for the brief series of Family Dog shows at the Fillmore Auditorium, and then for the first series of Family Dog shows at the Avalon Ballroom. Soon he was doing that work plus doing the posters for Bill Graham’s shows at the Fillmore. …”
Classic Posters
Psychedelic Poster Pioneer Wes Wilson on The Beatles, Doors, and Bill Graham
Smithsonian American Art Museum
When Art Rocked: San Francisco Music Posters, 1966-1971
Wes Wilson

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Bill Graham, Counterculture, Grateful Dead, Jazz, Merry Pranksters, Poetry, Street theater, The Beatles, The Fugs, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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