A look back at our 40th Anniversary Woodstock Party with artist Arnold Skolnick
With the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock now upon us, I revisited the photos from our 40th Anniversary Celebration at the gallery 10 years ago today. We were joined by Arnold Skolnick, the artist of the famous poster, who graciously signed a stash of original Woodstock trolley format posters for our clients.
Arnold Skolnick signs an original trolley format Woodstock poster
We still have a few unsigned trolley format posters at $1500 and one signed large format poster at $3000. Check out the website or call us for details!
Woodstock attendees reunited after 40 years
Four Woodstock attendees shared their stories
Amongst our 100+ attendees were 4 of our clients who had all been at Woodstock – one actually helped build the stage before the event and spent time with the Grateful Dead, who arrived several days early. He showed us his uncashed paycheck from the Woodstock Corporation, intact all these years due to the corporation’s bankruptcy after the event.
The 40th Anniversary limited edition silkscreen
Arnold Skolnick signs the Woodstock 40th Anniversary poster
Arnold also designed a beautiful limited edition silkscreen poster for the 40th Anniversary. The poster shows the Woodstock dove atop a subtle color field with a running line of text, like a ticker tape, that recalls the dreams (Age of Aquarius, Civil Rights) as well as the nightmares of the decade (Viet Nam, Kennedy Assassination) that the peaceful event rose above. Understated and elegant, it is a fitting tribute to a turbulent era and an event that helped to define it. Hand signed, it is available at $250, and now ON SALE for the week at $200.
Arnold Skolnick with the IPG team for the 40th Anniversary party
After attending Pratt Institute, Arnold became a very successful creative at Young & Rubicam, a leading New York advertising agency in the ’60s. He regaled us with wild stories ala Mad Men about the field in the turbulent era. The Woodstock poster was done freelance.
A fitting image of the maestro in front of a poster by another maestro, Herbert Leupin:
August 15th marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the most legendary rock concert of the Sixties. This poster has become equally famous as a memento of the weekend’s breathtaking musical lineup and its total freedom from violence. It perfectly expressed in one symbol – a white dove on a guitar – what Woodstock was about. Despite its lengthy text, the captivating poster and ultimately the event itself seemed to transcend all the turbulence of the era.
The poster is filled with a treasure trove of fun facts – the $18 3-day ticket price, the list of performers from Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joan Baez and many others, as well as “dozens of curious food and fruit combinations to experiment with.” Imagine if the organizers had allowed the Beatles to perform (they rejected John Lennon’s condition that Yoko Ono’s band be invited as well) and had Bob Dylan not backed out because of his sick son!
This is actually the second “official” Woodstock poster. It was created due to a licensing problem that required the concert to be relocated at the last moment from Walkill to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York. The psychedelic style of the first poster was replaced by a more subdued and peaceful message so the event would not be banned again.
Skolnick was a successful art director on Madison Avenue who contracted this job on the side. His instincts were right on the mark. The poster was produced in 2 sizes – a bus and trolley size with a glossy finish on stiff paper, and a larger billboard size. Skolnick was “on print” to supervise their production, and can explain every unusual detail including why the bird has a black beak and why it is a 4 (rather then 3) color offset. The gallery is pleased to have originals in both sizes from the concert (not reproductions) for sale including the artist’s hand signed signature.
Ten year ago International Poster Gallery hosted a 40th Woodstock Anniversary party with Arnold in attendance. For the event, he created a limited edition poster that pays homage to the many turbulent themes and events of the late 1960s. It is also available and handsigned.
Our friends at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts are putting together a fantastic weekend celebrating the artistry and history of rock & roll posters, including a talk by Arnold Skolick and David Edward Byrd. Click here for more details and a schedule of events. And be sure to visit the International Poster Gallery website for more information on our large collection of 1960s rock & roll posters, including hand signed copies of Skolnick’s original Woodstock poster.