Tweed Museum showing 30 rare and collectable concert posters

This link — Poster Show — is to the article running this week in the Reader (the website article has many more pictures) that contains information about nearly every poster in the show and interviews with almost every artist. In the article on my site you can read about each poster from the artists’ perspective and how they viewed the art and the era. Print it out and walk through the show!

The earliest poster in the show is from the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco when Ken Kesey was still doing his Acid Tests in 1966 there, while the latest poster in the show from 1969 shows when the posters went back to being more formal advertisements. The artists who created the pieces in the Tweed show went on to design the album covers that are so collectible today. Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley and Rick Griffin are the art of the Grateful Dead that you see on every tie-dyed shirt, bumpersticker, and the band’s album covers. Victor Moscoso is the drippy lettering of the Doors and Lee Conklin is the unusual depth that most people remember from that Santana album with the Lion on the cover.

Concert poster art came first in 1966 and then the album covers quickly followed within a year when the artists moved to that medium after the bands signed record contracts. The Tweed show highlights the extremely rare art by these artists from an early period when they were still figuring out their styles. This is probably the only time in this area where you will have an opportunity to see so many of these unique pieces that are the highlight of modern art museums around the world.

There is the poster from the Monterey Pop Festival that celebrates Jimi Hendrix and The Who’s American debut, posters advertising Janis Joplin’s first shows with her band Big Brother, Grace Slick before Jefferson Airplane and after, Eric Clapton’s Cream at their peak, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, The Doors, Jimmy Page led Yarbirds and Zep, and the roots of rock. The posters are just as vibrant and significant as the music they advertised.

The Tweed Museum and I worked for over 2 years to put this show together and I have spent the past year interviewing the artists and trying to learn more about their art. Feel free to email me any questions about the show or the pieces and read up before attending. You can print out the story and read it while you walk through by visiting my website.

This is a free show and open to everyone. Go to for hours and info.

Here is a video from The Playlist describing the show:



about 13 years ago

Talk about burying the lead. How did the Tweed get these posters? Whose are they? I'm assuming by darting around what looks like 10,000 words of arcane rock trivia about poster artists, that they are Andrew's, right? If so, there is a fistful of other ethical questions about this article. I rest.

Andrew Olson

about 13 years ago

Watch the Playlist video from the link above, it explains everything in CliffNotes version.  The show is free and my wife and I are not paid for any of this - including the Reader.  We just thought Duluth would be interested in seeing this extremely rare art.  It was a very interesting era in history and this art reflects it.


about 13 years ago

I remember back in the bad old days when a post by Andrew Olson would inspire hundreds of vitriolic comments.


about 13 years ago

Nice collection Andrew and thank you and your wife for sharing them. My brother has a few of these gems and they are rare and a one of a kind kind of deal. Not sure of what ethical dilemma spy1 is talking about. Maybe an inside joke?

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

The point Spy1 is trying to make is that the article this post links to, written by Andrew Olson, promotes a showcase of rock posters Olson himself has collected, yet the article does not seem to acknowledge that the author is involved in the project.

This would be considered terrible journalism, but since the article is on Olson's personal site, and also in a publication that does not engage in journalism, it's probably a forgivable offense in most eyes.

In the post above Olson does acknowledge his collaboration with the Tweed on this project, but not until the end of the piece, "burying the lead," so to speak.

So that's the ethical dilemma in a nutshell.


about 13 years ago

My guess is they are re-prints. Many were reprinted after the show. Probably cool but not rare.


about 13 years ago

My brother is an collectibles dealer and gave me this website for more info -

Andrew Olson

about 13 years ago


There are a few posters in the Tweed show that are the 2nd printings.  It was decided to use them in a few cases because they are exactly the same as the first print and in much better condition than the original.  I also own the originals as well of all of these (except BG105). 

There are four posters total out of the 30 that are the 2nd printings and all of those were printed within months of the show from the original plates by the original printer on the same paper.  I have more posters that are 1st printings of Fillmores and Avalons(Family Dog) that are not in the show, but the Tweed wanted certain posters and images. is great for info and the owner is from MN, although most collectors and artists don't agree with his policies.  He bought Bill Graham's personal archieves for $50 million dollars and sells it piece by piece.  Wolfgang was Bill Graham's real name before he left Europe to escape the Holocaust - he died in 1991. also has info and so does  Eric King  wrote a book on how to examine the posters to determine the printings and forgeries. has most concert art from the 1960s through today listed and keeps track of what they sell for in auctions. 

I've studied this art with the artists and other collectors from when I was 18 and they taught me about the differences in printings and showed me examples.  These posters are so collectable because of the information out there on printings.  These are rare.  

An example would be the Doors one by Moscoso that many call "The Pink Panther" that is in the Tweed show.  With that one the only difference is a tiny dot in the letter "L" - if you examine mine you will find it.  It is a 1st... With others like Lee Conkin's "EarHearts" and "Cream" the only difference is the shine of the paper.  Mine are both the originals if you look closely.  

Some posters are even signed by the artists and one for Janis Joplin (original from one of her first shows) is signed by her band Big Brother.  It is a first and stamped from where ever it was posted because in the early days they didn't have extras and very few survive. 

These are the real deal and not reprints.  All of the posters in the show are extremely rare.

Miles A Broadus

about 13 years ago

Considering no one really rocks anymore, least of all not like the people these posters advertise, or with such replete soul (Redding), it's nice to have a local champion of this long lost art form called Rock and Roll. Rick Allen is one hella poster maker though, he could do psychedelic...  I like how some people sniff controversy like a mole in anthill. Maybe that's what it's all about. Hey, isn't it the dawning of the age of Aquarius?

Andrew Olson

about 13 years ago

Otis Redding was amazing and kind of forgotten in these days.  I remember when I was a teenager watching The Monterey Pop Festival video and wondering why that time was so cool compared to mine.  Jimi lighting his guitar on fire and the shocked fans faces showed me just how revolutionary he was. 


When Otis took the stage and sang, "I've Been Loving You Too Long" it really affected me.  I love when he breaks down the song in the middle and says, "Ah-ohh-ya," and then does that a few times as the crowd erupts.  What a showman.  His band created soul music and Redding even wrote "Respect" for Franklin as they were all from the same studio.  It is really sad he died so young, and not far from here.  

When I found the poster that was sold at the Monterey Pop a few years ago in really great shape for its age I had to get it.  It is probably the highlight of the Tweed show and has a great foil finish.  The artist who did it also made all those great Rolling Stone album covers from the 60s.  

There was a mythology to rock and music back then.  It was more important than just songs, the music of that generation changed the world.

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