The Bahr Gallery, an art gallery dedicated to rare, first-edition, psychedelic rock poster art, is featuring vintage Grateful Dead posters in an exhibition that opened October 22, and is running through January 2, 2022. The Bahr Gallery is located in Oyster Bay, New York and is open Friday through Sunday from 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. and by appointment. Admission is free.
Curator and owner Ted Bahr noted that, “the Grateful Dead were in the epicenter of the psychedelic poster revolution. With their exotic-sounding name, their heritage as part of the early Acid Tests in San Francisco and their improvisational music often featuring extended jams, the Grateful Dead were creative gold for the San Francisco poster artists.”
The centerpiece of the Grateful Dead Exhibition is a large first-print Aoxomoxoa poster from 1969 that the band liked so much they had it converted into the cover of their third album. Many new works from 1966 – 1969 showcasing the psychedelic poster revolution in that period will also be displayed. Posters by each of San Francisco’s “Big Five” poster artists: Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, and Rick Griffin, are part of the Exhibition.
Other highlights include the famous 1966 “Skeleton & Roses” poster by Mouse and Kelley that became a core part of the Dead’s iconography and a rare 1980 Radio City poster by Dennis Larkins, which slipped past Radio City Music Hall management who didn’t like the skeletons depicted leaning on their building in the poster and ordered them all destroyed. Close to 40 works in total comprise the Exhibition and all works are for sale.
Virtually all pieces are first editions, printed before the concert as advertising and are accompanied with meticulous background and history, placing each piece in context. Much of this art currently hangs in the Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, the Louvre, and other leading museums and institutions around the world.
The Bahr Gallery, which opened in April 2018, has several rooms totaling 1,200 square feet and features nearly 60 psychedelic masterworks on rotation. Past Exhibitions include “Woodstock and Other Festivals,” “The British Invasion,” “Club27,” and a “Dual Retrospective of Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso.”
The Bahr loaned 11 pieces to the Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution Exhibition at the NY Historical Society Museum last year and currently has eight pieces hanging at the Nassau County Museum of Art in their “Songs Without Words” Exhibition.
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