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John Van Hamersveld – Original ‘An American Music Show’ Poster Artwork / Janis Joplin, Mothers of Invention, The Byrds

John Van Hamersveld’s signed original artwork for his (and Bob Schnepf’s) classic poster advertising the September 1968 benefit concert “An American Music Show”.  This Pinnacle Productions show benefitted the Los Angeles Free Clinic.  Held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. this concert featured Big Brother & The Holding Company (with Janis Joplin), Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, The Byrds, Joan Baez, the Everly Brothers, Country Joe & The Fish, Junior Wells with Buddy Guy, Buffy St. Marie and Wilson Pickett.  Also included is an original printing of the poster.

This is the “mechanical” artwork, sent by Van Hamersveld to the printer and used to make the film for the printing plates, and print the posters. It is on art board measuring 16″ x 23 1/2″ and covered by it’s original protective thick acetate sheet. On the board, Van Hamersveld has glued a “stat” (a photo mechanical print) of the central cowboy image, and the individual lines of type. He has hand drawn in ink the horizontal lines and oblong pill shapes, and some of the stars surrounding the cowboy. Van Hamersveld has made a note in the margin that says “after shooting” and applied white out to eliminate the edges of the horizontal black ink lines. At the bottom, he signed it in pencil “John Van Hamersveld 1968”. There would have been a velum sheet above the acetate cover indicating colors for the type and images, but this was missing when we acquired the artwork.

We purchased this from Van Hamersveld’s son, Klee, who has additionally signed it on the back “Original Poster Mechanical by John Van Hamersveld. Klee Van Hamersveld.” With an original 1968 copy of the poster, in excellent condition.  The artwork is 16″ x 23″ on art board; the poster 11″ x 17″.  Both in excellent condition.  A rare opportunity to acquire original poster artwork from one of the masters of 1960’s psychedelic posters.

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