NOTE: This poster, as framed, hung in the Historical Society of New York Museum from February 2020 to January 2021 as part of the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution Exhibition. A chance to own a Museum piece.
This poster was only printed once and features a Picasso-like drawing of a space alien with a skull in it’s mouth and, well, there’s a lot going on here.
Wes Wilson was the main poster artist for the Fillmore Auditorium but when he and Bill Graham had a dispute about money and Wilson quit, Bonnie MacLean stepped in. MacLean had been painting noticeboards at the auditorium in the psychedelic style, which inspired Graham to promote her to Art Director. MacLean created more than 30 posters for the Fillmore, most in 1967, many of which are considered fine examples of the developed psychedelic style. Initially emulating Wilson’s provocative Art Nouveau-inspired posters, she quickly developed her own more nuanced psychedelic style which often incorporated gothic elements and showed off her talent drawing beautiful faces and figures.
While MacLean was not technically one of the “Big Five” Haight-Ashbury poster artists who came to be associated with the iconography of the counterculture scene, she stood out as one of the only women in the field and her work is just as revered among collectors. It has been displayed in San Francisco’s de Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Oakland Museum, as well as the Whitney and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.