Psychedelic Art Exchange Blog

Tag: Psychedelic Art Exchange

Dec 8 2015 Blog Image SizedIf you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are well aware of the growing recognition and reporting about 1960’s Concert posters within mainstream society.

I would like to highly recommend a documentary that came out in 2009 but is even more relevant today than ever. This is “American Artifact – The Rise of American Rock Poster Art.

This documentary is really well produced and highly informative and entertaining. The film traces this incredible art from it’s birth in the 1960’s, right up to the present day. Literally dozens of artists are interviewed, and you get a wonderful sense of “being there back in the day”. Of course, the artwork is truly breathtaking as well.

I have repeated ad nauseam, that if you expect to have any success in a collectible area, you MUST invest the time and money to acquire all the relevant information available. This DVD, available at Amazon for a little over 10 bucks, is no exception. Order it right now, while it’s fresh in your mind—

Here’s the link

This summer we urged you to see the Bill Graham exhibit at the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles, Ca. Many of our readers took our advise and the reviews we received were unanimously excellent.

Great News!

It has just been officially announced that the exhibit will move to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco from March 10- June 12, 2016. The exhibit will then make stops in Chicago, Cleveland, and New York, dates to be announced. This is one exhibit you don’t ant to miss! Here’s a link to the story:

Dec 1 2015 Blog Image SizedFifty years ago, on November 27, 1965 the Merry Pranksters conducted the first Acid Test at Ken Babb’s place in Santa Cruz, California. This event served as the catalyst for tectonic shifts in American music…culture…and just about everything else! The bottom line is that the historical significance of the Acid Tests of this era simply cannot be overestimated.

So it is for very good reasons indeed that all posters, handbills and other ephemera from these events are among the most desirable of all 1960’s collectibles. Because these items are the artifacts of a scene and a movement in it’s embryonic stages, precious little of it was produced at the time and even less survives today. It goes without saying that the addition of any Acid Test material automatically catapults a collection into the category of World Class.

The well known collectibles journalist Ben Marks published a phenomenal article on the Acid Tests, and the early days of the Grateful Dead, in commemoration of this 50th Anniversary. It is highly recommended that anyone with even a passing interest in 1960’s concert posters should read Ben’s article….TWICE!!

Here’s the link:

While compiling the research, Ben blew the lid off an amazing revelation that is not commonly understood. Nicholas Meriweather, is the official archivist for the Grateful Dead at the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In the article, Meriweather is quoted as saying, “the archive doesn’t really start until 1970, because the band didn’t incorporate until that year. We’ve got a few things from before then, but precious little. Nothing would please me more than to be able to say ‘come on down, and I’ll show you my Acid Test trove. Sadly, I don’t have one!

This to me, is an amazing statement and simply reinforces how privileged all of us are to be participating in this hobby at this moment in time. As collectors, it’s easy to become jaded about the availability and desirability of a collectible that you work with on a daily basis. But when the chief Grateful Dead archivist tells you he has precious little pre-1970 material, that is a statement that needs to be fully digested and considered for all it’s vast implications. I will leave it to each reader of this blog to come to your own conclusions, but this simply strengthens my belief that pre 1970 concert memorabilia is the number one collectibles opportunity in the world today.

I highly encourage you to read Ben’s article ASAP, here, again, is the link:

The P.A.E. Reading Room- New Additions

October 14 2015 Blog Image SizedThis week we received our copy of ”Split Fountain Hieroglyphics : Psychedelic Concert Posters From The Seattle Area” this book was highlighted here a few weeks ago. We were impressed by this new look at the psychedelic posters from the Seattle area in the 1960’s. The book is beautifully illustrated with rarely seen treasures from the Pacific Northwest. This publication points out the diversity of regional concert poster art from the era. These type posters are tough to find as they were originally printed in ridiculously low quantities.

This brings to mind another recent publication, “Home Grown”- Austin Music Posters from 1967-1982. This great looking book is another indispensable volume that puts a microscope on the concert advertisements that were culled from the rich history of Texas poster scene. The book can be purchased here.

These books highlight the growing awareness and thirst for information relating to vintage concert posters. As the interest continues to build for these posters, we will surely see more helpful resources being published to allow collectors to expand their knowledge and passion of this world class collectible.

Vancouver_Trips_For_Blog-imAs the market for Vintage 1960’s Concert Posters is now rapidly evolving, there is often an information lag among collectors as new developments take time to disseminate throughout the marketplace. One of the goals of this weekly blog is to provide a place where collectors can get the latest news and updates about this exciting collectible.

Over the past year or two, we’ve seen a bifurcation of the market as the demand for posters in undamaged condition has skyrocketed. By undamaged condition, I mean a poster that exhibits no nicks, tears, pinholes, folds or restoration of any kind.

This increased demand has resulted in rising values for the posters have somehow survived the past 45-50 years in undamaged condition. And herein lies the rub. While the “word is out” among most collectors when it comes to top condition, the prices one must pay to acquire such pieces are only known by collectors on the leading edge of the market.

Why is this the case?

Because up until about 5 years ago, there was very little price distinction between damaged and undamaged posters. If a poster was worth $4000 in ANY condition, perfect examples, if found, could be acquired for $6000 -$7000. This works out to a 50-75% premium. Today, if a poster is worth $4000 in ANY condition, you can expect to pay 12,000-16,000 for a “finest known” example. This works out to a 300-400% premium. So you can see that premiums for the very best condition concert posters are expanding!

This situation often proves very frustrating for us when we finally end a years long search for a mint example of an issue and the collector is suddenly taken aback by what we paid and what we need to get for the item. Their brains are still firmly rooted in values and premiums that are circa 2005.

While many old-time collectors may consider today’s premium quality values outrageous, the “smart money” knows and understands that this is just the tip of the iceberg. And this is where an opportunity clearly presents itself.

A cursory look into other collectibles markets will show you that the finest premium quality coins, stamps, comic books and baseball cards ROUTINELY bring premiums of 20x to 50x the price of a normal surviving example. For example, in January of 2015, I sold the finest known 1793 United States penny for $2.35 million, while examples can be found for just $35,000.

The point is, quality never, ever goes out of style and the demand for it continues to grow, as well as the premiums that it commands. So you have a choice. You can turn your back on this trend and ignore it. Or you can embrace this as a lucrative opportunity that has been 50 years in the making. Which will you choose?

Sept 17 2015 Blog Image SizedTwo weeks ago we told you that our office has received a growing number of calls from people looking to diversify some of their assets away from the volatile stock market and into classic 1960’s concert posters, where ownership can be more rewarding on several different levels.

We told you that some of these calls were coming from “big money” Wall Street type investors who were seeking the very best posters in the very best condition possible. These buyers are willing to pay whatever it takes to bring these sought after masterpieces into the marketplace. The thinking goes as follows:

“I’m going to own these posters for 10-15 years or longer. When I finally want to sell, it will be insignificant if I paid a bit more at the time. The key is I want the right material now, and the longer I wait , the more I will have to pay.”

This week, The Wall Street Journal reported on the new edition of the seminal book, “The Art of Rock”. This is a book that EVERY collector MUST own. The book has long been out of print. If you don’t already own this, buy your copy NOW.

The value of Wall Street exposure such as this to our fast growing marketplace cannot be overstated! Millions of the world’s richest investors are seeing this story, and the art, and many have a strong attachment and affection for the music and the era. The snowball grows larger with each passing day!

A link to the Wall Street Journal story is below.

Last week also brought news of another concert poster book that highlights 1960’s psychedelic concert posters from the Seattle area. This book comes out in 2 weeks and is highly recommended. Just 500 copies are being produced, so don’t delay, order your copy today here!

It’s important when you see these recommendations to act without delay. It’s the little things that combine for success in our hobby. Don’t wait for books to sell out and for museum exhibits to shut down! Become a member of The Rock poster Society, buy the books we recommend, attend the museum exhibits we tell you about. It all adds up to a lot of fun and puts you on the leading edge of the most lucrative collectibles opportunity in the world today!

Wall Street Journal article:

1960’s Concert Poster Book article:

What started out as a trickle in early June has become a steady stream of phone calls on a daily basis now. People are telling us that they are tired of watching the violent, daily changes to their investments. They want to diversify some of their funds into an asset they have long term confidence in and that will give them short term pleasure.

For a growing number of collectors, rare 1960’s Rock Concert posters fit the bill perfectly! It’s widely acknowledged that these incredible works of art are now trading at literally pennies on the dollar when compared to more established collectibles markets like coins, stamps, comics and baseball cards. Not only do these posters represent a rock solid value, they also provide wonderful enjoyment when displayed in your home or office.

$100_Bill_For_Blog-image-msMake no mistake about it, this superior value proposition of these posters is only temporary and prices are correcting upwards as the tiny available supply is being overwhelmed by a steady, growing demand. This upward trend in prices started slowly about 5 years ago and has been picking up steam of late.

In addition to demand from diversification, prices are moving upwards for Mint Condition posters as condition/state of preservation continues to be more appreciated with each passing year. These posters were produced in tiny quantities and not many have survived in undamaged condition.

It’s universally recognized that the best investment most people make is in their own home. Do you know why? Because there is no way to get a daily quote on the value of your home and there is no way to sell it with the push of a button. This means they don’t call their real estate broker up in a panic to sell if the market is temporarily soft. People stick with their home for the long haul. This means that the way the market is structurally set up encourages people to do the right thing and ultimately come out way ahead.

The same can be said for collectibles in general and for concert posters specifically. Pick up a few choice items, enjoy their ownership through the years, and watch the desirability and appreciation for these rare artworks steadily grow. The value will always be there and you will find their ownership thoroughly rewarding every step of the way!

You’ll sleep a lot more soundly too!

Bold as Love

Jimi_For_Blog-image-mstrJimi Hendrix

The greatest Guitar player of all time? Even by Rolling stones recent calculation of the top 100 guitar players http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-guitarists-20111123 this legend stands alone. But regardless of what criteria you choose to measure, his impact on music and style is undeniable. Without doubt, Jimi was the most captivating character of the decade. More than any other artist from the era Hendrix was a cultural icon, he truly exemplified the art and attitude of the 1960′s. His innovative style, his laid back persona, his wardrobe, his lifestyle, his message and his music all add up to the status of deity in Rock and Roll mythology

Musically, Hendrix was an innovator beyond compare, creating with an electric guitar what had never been previously imagined. A gifted songwriter and a virtuosic player all added up to musical genius. His mastery of the fret board , control of feedback, and use of state of the art effects created a signature sound that many have imitated but never recreated. He left a wake that is still being felt today . His tragic early exit left fans wanting more and left the world wondering what if…

At the pinnacle of rock and roll collectibles as well , Hendrix memorabilia demands top dollar and sets record level values at auction. His impact on the poster-collecting world is well proven also. Hendrix posters are some of the most valuable and sought after in the entire genre.

This month we are offering a small, focused selection of Hendrix posters, with the crown jewel being an ultra rare (one of three known) 1969 cardboard Miami Jai Alai poster that is sure to end up in the most advanced collection. So, Enjoy this opportunity to bid on these artifacts, the winning bidders will surely be overjoyed.

conklinEarsBlog-image-mstrHey poster fans. On the heels of one of our most successful sales, PAE continues to illuminate the value and beauty of this world class collectible. During these uncertain economic times, tangible assets such as our beloved posters are finding their place as some of the most stable investments around. Two recent articles illustrate how the rest of the collecting community forges ahead gaining greater levels of value and credibility.

Check out the following press;

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-profit-from-investing-in-art-2011-09-02

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/waggon/story/2011-09-01/Gold-in-the-attic-Furniture-coins-and-hellip-Ninja-Turtles/50224150/1 – uslPageReturn

Bears Choicest!

Troopers_For_Blog-image-mstLast month, one the most interesting and pivotal characters from the 1960′s passed from this plane of existence.

Augustus Stanley Owsley III was a true innovator and iconoclast. He will most notably be remembered for his role in the manufacture and distribution LSD in San Francisco the 1960s, however, there was so much more to this character than just supplying acid to the Haight. He was one of the true renaissance men of the psychedelic era.

Owsley’s early association with the Grateful Dead allowed him to take on several roles with the band. He was their first sound-man, and helped finance the Dead early on. Additionally, he was responsible for recording many early Dead shows, as well as other acts that performed in San Francisco at the time. Owsley was also responsible for designing the Dead’s behemoth, yet technically advanced sound system,” The Wall of Sound”.

Even with those accomplishments, Bear was to consider himself an artist . His artistic output will be remembered by most for his part in designing the Dead’s iconic “Steal Your Face” Logo. However, when he moved to New Zealand in the nineties, he spent his remaining days as a sculptor and jeweler

Owsley will not likely have the acclaim of rock poster artist added to his accomplishments, because only one poster can be attributed to him. Grateful Dead, Troopers Club, Los Angeles, California, 3/25/66 was the sole concert poster designed by Owsley. This simple yet “trippy” design is one of the scarcest posters in the entire history of psychedelic concert posters. PAE was fortunate to have acquired one of these historic pieces years ago, and it’s signed!

We believe the poster to be the best-known example of this poster to exist; it is in amazing undamaged condition. We believed the value of this poster to be $40,000 + before Bear’s death…today priceless.

Let’s get “Real”

Bein-4BlogThe subject of restoration comes up all the time in our conversations with customers. We frequently get asked, does restoration help or hurt the value of a poster? Even though it is our position that we do not offer restored posters, it is still not a simple question to answer.

Paper is one of the most fragile materials in the world. It is easily torn, ripped, punctured, and dented. That is why our vintage concert posters are so scarce and valuable in top condition.

Let’s start with how easily our posters are damaged. These posters are over 40 years old and were not considered fine collectibles at the time. Overall, they were not handled gently at the time of their original use. Concert posters were used for advertising purposes, and were taped up in store windows and stapled to telephone polls. Those that were taken down by fans were damaged from the onset. Posters that were handed out at the actual concerts had to make their way back home without getting folded, rolled or bent. Once they got home, they were often damaged by tape, thumb tacks and push pins while being displayed. Not to mention that they were also being decayed by light, heat, moisture, and acidity.

Since many of these posters cannot be found in undamaged condition, some collectors began turning to paper restorers decades ago to make their posters more presentable.

Is restoration good or bad for the value of a poster? I suppose that is a matter of opinion, however our opinion at PAE is culled from over 65 years of combined experience in the collectibles market.

Processes such as de-acidification, pressing, and non-intrusive dirt removal are acceptable in our opinion. These techniques slow the ravages of time, and as long as they do not disturb the integrity of the paper, they are potentially helpful. Additionally, It is our position at PAE, that if the restoration process is completely reversible, as with linen mounting, this type of work is acceptable. The key is that it does not permanently change the original paper.

Conversely, anytime you permanently add material or ink to a poster, it diminishes the originality of that poster and should be avoided.

In regard to the dollar value of restored posters, we need to look at other established collectibles. In the world of coins, stamps, baseball cards and comic books, restoration significantly devalues the specimen. That is not presently the case in rock posters, however our findings show that restoration does not increase the value of the poster either. A poster with four pinholes may even be slightly higher at this time than those with four filled holes. We do however; strongly believe that looking down the road, restoration will be viewed in a much dimmer light in terms of value.

Clearly, if a collector wished to “fix” a poster for eye appeal, and intends to use it primarily as decorative art work to be enjoyed on their walls, that seems completely reasonable. However, if the collector desires to hold it for the future, with the intention of it being sold down the road for increased value, we believe that the piece is better left alone.

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