Vintage Bill Graham Series Concert Posters
Vintage Bill Graham Series Concert Posters are original music concert posters from the 1960s and 70s, advertising events at venues owned by the legendary concert promoter Bill Graham.
Bill Graham (1931 - 1991) was a concert promoter and artist manager who show-cased some of the biggest groups of the 1960s, promoting and publicising the San Francisco "Flower Power" movement of the late 1960s. Born Wolfgang Grajonka, in Berlin, as a child he walked across Europe to escape the Nazis, and was adopted by a New York couple.
In the 1950s he moved to San Francisco to follow an acting career. That idea stalled, but he found that promoting and managment were more successful and lucrative. He was killed in 1991 when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed, hitting an electrical tower.
Guide For Collectors
There are 289 original designs in the Bill Graham Series of posters. Most posters had accompanying hand-bills and postcards, or tickets using a monochrome version of the design, sometimes with different colours for each night of the event.
Online suppliers offering authentic original posters include wolfgangsvault, and classicposters. independent-collectors is a group focussed on collectors of contemporary art.
There were very few posters saved before the 1970s and originals are therefore very rare. There have been instances of collectors buying modern reproductions in error, so it is important to be sure your purchase is authentic. It is a good idea to share information with other enthusiasts, or through fans of the groups and events Bill Graham represented. postercentral gives an overview of the general trends of collecting this form of art, as well as buying and selling memorabilia including posters. deadlists.com/posters/posterlinks offers links to dealers.
Prices are highly variable and there is no fixed criteria apart from the desirablilty of the poster to a particular collector. According to postercentral.com, the value is not affected by any trends other than that, and posters do not appear to increase in value. The quality of the print does not appear to affect price. The same poster (for example, a Jefferson Airplane poster dated February 1968) can sell at auction for anything between $32 and $2095.
A Jefferson Airplane poster from the 23rd February 1970 Winterland venue was offered for $8285 in February 2012, while in the same month a Jimi Hendrix Experience poster, from the 1st - 4th February 1968 Fillimore Auditorium venue, was offered for $48. (All sales listed above are by Wolfgang's Vault, which owns the copyright to all Bill Graham related artwork.)
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