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Return to Woodstock

return to Woodstock, gallery event

Skolnick, Woodstock
Original Woodstock Poster, 1969

Woodstock 40th Anniversary Poster
40th Anniversary Poster, 2009

On August 6, 2009, International Poster Gallery celebrated the 40th anniversary of The Woodstock Festival by hosting a talk and poster-signing by Arnold Skolnick, designer of the iconic 1969 poster.

While 60s rock classics played in the background, some 100 poster fans mingled and chatted in the gallery, enjoying cold drinks and our exhibition of music-themed posters from the Age of Aquarius. Mr. Skolnick then gave a talk about how he was hired to create the poster and the thinking that went behind his design, and he reflected on the lasting impact of the poster in the broader culture.

Following Mr. Skolnick's talk, IPG owner Jim Lapides put out a call for Woodstock alums to share some favorite Woodstock stories. Following the formal part of the evening, Mr. Skolnick signed his 1969 poster as well as a limited edition 40th Anniversary poster for those who purchased them.

The gallery was delighted to host Mr. Skolnick and was glad to participate in an event of genuine historical importance.

DID YOU MISS THE EVENT? 

Visit our Facebook photo album to relive the evening and create an account to receive information about future gallery events. 

SPECIAL OFFER

Receive a complimentary pair of tickets to The Museum at Bethel Woods with the purchase of the original or 40th anniversary Woodstock poster. 

Learn more about the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival.

Woodstock Event Poster Signing

THE POSTER THAT ROCKED A GENERATION

Skolnick's Woodstock poster played an essential role in the success of the largest rock festival of the '60s, an event that was as famous for its freedom from violence as it was for its unparalleled musical line-up.  The poster perfectly expressed in one symbol - a dove perched on a guitar - what Woodstock was about.  Despite the need for lengthy text, the poster was graphically succinct and struck an enduring chord with a generation and indeed the world.

The original poster was no accident.  Skolnick was a talented Madison Avenue ad man and was skilled at hearing what a customer wanted and needed.  Mr. Skolnick recalls, "The client said he wanted the event to be 'peaceful, three days long and a lot of music' so that's what I gave him." 
 
His design was the perfect solution to a licensing problem that required the festival to be relocated at the last moment from Walkill to Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York.  The psychedelic tone of the aborted venue's initial poster was replaced by a more subdued and peaceful message so the event would not be banned again-- thus creating a unique rock poster for the ages.
 
Little did we know last year that finding some original Woodstock posters would lead to one of the most exciting events anywhere for the 40th Anniversary Woodstock celebration. 

 

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