Janis Joplin at The Ark

John Lichtenwalner


Janis Joplin at The Ark, 1967


First printing, lithograph, Condition: Very Good Plus


Framed dimensions: 27 1/2" tall x 21 3/4" wide





Frame at angle

1896 Advertisement for "Salon Des Cent," by Alphones Mucha

close up of frame

Left corner


The San Francisco psychedelic poster movement frequently borrowed motifs from Art Nouveau, and in the case of Mouse and Kelley’s “Girl with Green Hair,” and this poster by John Lichtenwalner, occasionally just reused (ripped off?) an image outright! The woman is from an 1896 advertisement by Alphonse Mucha  for the 20th Salon Des Cent in Paris which was a poster fair for commercial graphic design. This would be repeated 71 years later in 1967 when the Moore Gallery in San Francisco held a “Joint Show,” of commercial works by the Big Five poster artists.



This gorgeous poster advertised a Big Brother & The Holding Company show at The Ark in Sausalito, California. The Ark was only open for a short time but many of the SF bands played there including Big Brother, Moby Grape, Steve Miller and Santana.



This show on October 6th was exactly one year after the California State Legislature had banned the use of LSD. Big Brother had played earlier this evening at the Matrix in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood, then hopped over the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito to play at The Ark. Also earlier that day, the Diggers had blocked the intersection of Haight and Ashbury with a parade carrying a coffin and declaring the “Death of Hippie.” This was a reaction to the overrunning of Haight-Ashbury by teens following the clarion call to San Francisco after the Summer of Love.



This image was printed twice. The second print posters carry a Portal Publications printing credit, while the originals—such as this—do not. As the artist's design credit does not appear on this poster it fell into the category of "public domain" when it came to copyright protection, and therefore it could be reprinted without permission (that was the law in 1967), which is exactly what Portal Publications did to many of The Ark posters (including this one).


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