Stanley Mouse

 ” Psychedelic, Art Nouveau-influenced Concert Posters”

 

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Pioneer of Psychedelic Art

Stanley Mouse’s nouveau-tribal-psychedelic graphic-style virtually defined the art surrounding American rock music in the 1960’s and 1970’s. A seminal member of the counterculture scene that blossomed in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the late 60’s, Mouse, along with his art partner Alton Kelley, created now-classic posters advertising dance concerts at the Avalon Ballroom and Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium, including those of the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix.

“These famed posters captured the very sound of the music,” wrote Joel Selvin in the 1992 book Freehand: The Art of Stanley Mouse. “Perhaps not since Toulouse-Lautrec illustrated cafe society of late 19th-century Paris has an artist’s style and vision been as integrated into the very fabric of his subject.” In fact, Mouse’s work was featured side-by-side with that of Toulouse-Lautrec in a travelling exhibition of the San Diego Museum of Art titled “High Societies” which explores the art that has thrived in some of history’s more decadent times and places. “The High Societies exhibit puts the psychedelic Haight-Ashbury posters in historical context,” Mouse says, “and gets past some of the stigma attached to them because of their association with drugs.”

Arriving on the scene as “a kid from Detroit in Bermuda shorts” who first made a name for himself airbrushing “monster cars” on t-shirts at hot rod shows, Mouse credits the trans-formative aura of the the time and place with his own personal and artistic growth. What’s more, as a backstage regular in early days of rock’s legendary stars, he’s got some great stories: like the time the band Big Brother and the Holding Company, who often rehearsed in Mouse’s studio, auditioned a new singer named Janis Joplin. “The police came to our door and said someone had reported hearing a woman screaming,” Mouse muses. And the rest, like the Mouse images now hanging in venues like the Hermitage in Russia and the New York Museum of Modern Art, is history.

Stanley “Mouse” Miller poses in front of his famous Avalon ballroom poster from 1966

Below is a selection of Stanley Mouse lithographs in our shop. See the full collection >

 

 

The image was originally created by Stanley Mouse as pen & ink on illustration board. Mr. Mouse who, referring to the maquette, drew by hand the 2 separate plates from which this edition was pulled. “Matrix” by Stanley Mouse was printed at S2 Editions, Ltd. Atelier in 2003 on a vintage Dufa flat bed press.

The image was originally created by Stanley Mouse as pen & ink on illustration board. Mr. Mouse who, referring to the maquette, drew by hand the 2 separate plates from which this edition was pulled. “Matrix” by Stanley Mouse was printed at S2 Editions, Ltd. Atelier in 2003 on a vintage Dufa flat bed press.

Inspired by Art Nouveau graphics Stanley Mouse created  psychedelic posters advertising for events promoted by Bill Graham showcasing bands like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Beatles and Journey.  Stanely Mouse and Alton Kelley are credited with creating the Dead’s world famous Skeleton and Roses theme. Mouse’s cover art for Steve Miller’s album “Book of Dreams” won a Grammy Award in 1977.

 

Stanley Mouse received his formal training at Detroit’s School for the Society of Arts and Crafts until he dropped out to create rock posters in San Francisco during the war time era of social revolution, political passion, and musical innovation of the 1960’s. It was during this time that he would meet fellow artist, Alton Kelley. The two would collaborate on numerous projects over the course of 15 years. Said to have, “changed the course of advertising art forever” the two created  some of the most well known images, the ZigZag cigarette rolling papers and the Grateful Dead skeleton and roses motif.

Stanley Mouse designed his art with American pop-art and Art Nouveau in mind. His distinct style would attract many notable musicians to hire him to create their album covers as well as posters. Some of these musicians included Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Steve Miller, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and many more. He has been honored for many of his works and his posters have shown in museums around the world, to name a few, The Louvre, The Boston Museum, The Tokyo Museum of Modern Art, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and The Tate Museum in Liverpool.

The First Annual Cosmic Car Show poster, the event was held on September 2, 1967 to benefit the Delano Grape Strikers. Performers included: Charlie Musslewhite’s South Side Sound System, Mt. Rushmore, Mother Earth, Second Coming, Melvin Q, AAA and Pyewacket