Beatles manager Brian Epstein commissioned Richard Avedon to photograph the band and design a set of posters that would visually capture the new psychedelic direction of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour. Following the shoot at a penthouse in Thompson House, 200 Gray's Inn Road, London on 11th August 1967, Avedon distorted four of the polarised images with day-glo overlays and symbolic attributes. The photographs were first published in the 9th January 1968 edition of the US magazine Look, and the posters distributed simultaneously by Look magazine in the US, the Daily Express in the UK and Stern Magazine in Europe, together with a black and white banner poster of the band which became known as the Mount Rushmore poster. With a pull out order form which described the four posters as Flame Bright John, Flower Power Paul, Mystic George and Dove Loving Ringo, American fans could send away for individual posters at $1.50 each or a full set for $5.95. The posters have become seminal images of the late 1960's, transcending the world of music memorabilia and appealing to collectors of art and design alike. Although originally printed in a large open edition, few survive in unused condition. An example of the Look magazine set is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Very good (B)
Unfolded, conservation backed on linen. Prior to backing this poster had minor nicks to edges, a few faint vertical creases through image, and some light creasing with fine surface wear to sepia ground at upper corners. Backing and light colour touching has smoothed and diminished these slight imperfections for display. Colours excellent.