September 23, 2021 10:00 EDT

Books and Manuscripts

 
  Lot 96
 
Lot 96 - [Posters] [Counter-Culture]

96

[Posters] [Counter-Culture]
Berkeley Political Poster Workshop Portfolio

(University of California, Berkeley: Political Poster Workshop, ca. 1970). Group of 43 screenprints (some duplicate images, printed in different colors, on different paper stock, and in different formats). Scattered soiling and wear. Measuring 14 1/2 x 11 in. (368 x 279 mm) to 29 1/8 x 23 in. (740 x 584 mm).

A rare collection of 43 posters printed at the Political Poster Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley in the summer of 1970. Formed in response to the Nixon administration's invasion of Cambodia as well as the murder of four students at Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard, dozens of student volunteers at UC Berkeley converged on the College of Environmental Design to produce these vivid and urgent images of dissent. Produced en masse under the guidance of artist Malaquias Montoya, a leading figure in the Chicano Art Movement, these students created an estimated 650 designs across 50,000 printed posters. Bright, confrontational, and often simple in their visual language, these posters are a powerful record of an often forgotten moment in the Anti-War Movement. Ephemeral by nature, these posters were silkscreened in a variety of colors and on various types of cheap paper stock, sometimes new, but most often recycled, specifically early computer listing paper, as well as on the backs of old concert posters and calenders. These posters peppered the area around UC Berkeley and were frequently torn down and discarded, and hence scarce in any condition. Many of the posters in this collection feature the printed numbers "4973" in the margin, which according to Robin Repp, one of the artists who participated in the workshop, represented an attempt by the artists to help their work escape the destructive wrath of the police, "We put the number '4973' on the posters becuase it was a sort of 'stamp of approval' number from the Berkeley Police Department. We were led to believe that if we put the numbers on a poster, it would not be torn down from city poles or signs." (Barry Miles, 4973: Berkeley Protest Posters 1970).

These rare and impressive posters are very rarely, if ever, seen together in such a large grouping (43) on the market, and they provide a visual record of a very American protest language that sprung up quickly--and faded just as quickly--in the social and cultural conflagrations at the dawn of the new decade, one that would see five more devastating years in Veitnam, as well as the resignation of a president.

Many of the posters here, and variants thereof, have not been seen in the more major institutional collections, such as The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley and the The University of British Columbia Library, or in the collection represented in 4973: Berkeley Protest Poster 1970 (Maggs Bros Ltd).

Sold for $13,860
Estimated at $6,000 - $9,000


 

(University of California, Berkeley: Political Poster Workshop, ca. 1970). Group of 43 screenprints (some duplicate images, printed in different colors, on different paper stock, and in different formats). Scattered soiling and wear. Measuring 14 1/2 x 11 in. (368 x 279 mm) to 29 1/8 x 23 in. (740 x 584 mm).

A rare collection of 43 posters printed at the Political Poster Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley in the summer of 1970. Formed in response to the Nixon administration's invasion of Cambodia as well as the murder of four students at Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard, dozens of student volunteers at UC Berkeley converged on the College of Environmental Design to produce these vivid and urgent images of dissent. Produced en masse under the guidance of artist Malaquias Montoya, a leading figure in the Chicano Art Movement, these students created an estimated 650 designs across 50,000 printed posters. Bright, confrontational, and often simple in their visual language, these posters are a powerful record of an often forgotten moment in the Anti-War Movement. Ephemeral by nature, these posters were silkscreened in a variety of colors and on various types of cheap paper stock, sometimes new, but most often recycled, specifically early computer listing paper, as well as on the backs of old concert posters and calenders. These posters peppered the area around UC Berkeley and were frequently torn down and discarded, and hence scarce in any condition. Many of the posters in this collection feature the printed numbers "4973" in the margin, which according to Robin Repp, one of the artists who participated in the workshop, represented an attempt by the artists to help their work escape the destructive wrath of the police, "We put the number '4973' on the posters becuase it was a sort of 'stamp of approval' number from the Berkeley Police Department. We were led to believe that if we put the numbers on a poster, it would not be torn down from city poles or signs." (Barry Miles, 4973: Berkeley Protest Posters 1970).

These rare and impressive posters are very rarely, if ever, seen together in such a large grouping (43) on the market, and they provide a visual record of a very American protest language that sprung up quickly--and faded just as quickly--in the social and cultural conflagrations at the dawn of the new decade, one that would see five more devastating years in Veitnam, as well as the resignation of a president.

Many of the posters here, and variants thereof, have not been seen in the more major institutional collections, such as The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley and the The University of British Columbia Library, or in the collection represented in 4973: Berkeley Protest Poster 1970 (Maggs Bros Ltd).

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