Scope and Content of Collection
Title: David Singer Poster Collection
Collection number: MS 340
1 oversize flat,
University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library.
Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: San Francisco rock concert posters produced by David Singer for promoter Bill Graham.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the collection.
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection open for research. Advance notice is required for access.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and
their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
David Singer Poster Collection. MS 340. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of
California, Santa Cruz.
David Singer was a prolific poster artist during the height of the psychedelic era in San Francisco, producing more posters
for promoter Bill Graham than any other artist. According to the biography at Wolfgang's Vault, "Singer grew up in Pennsylvania
Dutch country, where he was exposed to antiques and folk art. Another influence on his work was his childhood interest in
geometric forms. Although Singer had little formal training in art, his polished presentation and prodigious output made him
one of the most respected poster artists emerging from San Francisco in the 1960s. Initially uninterested in making posters,
Singer assembled a portfolio of collages that he envisioned as 'greeting cards or something.' His work was rejected by most
of the publishers in San Francisco but gained immediate interest from Bill Graham, the dance-concert promoter at the Fillmore
Auditorium. During his Fillmore era, from 1969-1971, Singer created more posters for Graham than any other artist, most notably
the double-size final poster evoking the Fillmore experience.
Even after the Fillmore closed in 1971, Singer continued to create posters commemorating special events sponsored by Graham.
To a great extent, Singer was a transitional rock-poster artist; his works possessed a refinement and polish that would dominate
the 1970s rock world. During that decade, he produced significant posters for the Rolling Stones, the Who and Santana. Singer's
posters are notable for his use of collage, incorporating thousands of images clipped from magazines spanning several decades.
He developed a format that included a stunning variety of lettering styles, applying them in close relation to the theme or
subject of a poster."
Scope and Content of Collection
This series contains a complete signed set of David Singer's posters for rock promoter Bill Graham, as well as a number of
unsigned duplicates and a couple gallery posters advertising a show of Singer's work. The signed set has been sorted chronologically
as well as by the Bill Graham Production ("BG") number on the poster. Randy Tuten is credited with the design of BG-196,
using a collage by Singer. Wilfred Satty is co-credited on posters BG-235, BG-244 and BG-271. Jim Marshall is credited for
the photo used on BG-272.
The contents list gives the music groups and venues, with the dates referring to the earliest date of the concert run(s) advertised.
Posters have been arranged chronologically.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Posters--20th century--United States.
Psychedelic rock music--Collectibles.