Family Dog poster no. 26; skeleton surrounded by red and white roses and wearing a crown of roses against blue background

%C2%A9 Chet Helms DBA Family Dog Productions. All Rights Reserved

"Skull and Roses," Grateful Dead, Oxford Circle, September 16-17, Avalon Ballroom, 1966

Color lithographexpand_more

Gift of Paul Maurer and Scott Westexpand_more  2019.59.27

Though not the Grateful Dead’s first association with a skeleton—that credit goes to Wes Wilson’s May 1966 poster The Quick and The Dead—Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse’s adaption of Edmund J. Sullivan’s 1900 illustration of a skull and roses was the one that became best known. Originally created to accompany an English translation of a 12th century Persian poem about the inevitability of death, Sullivan’s illustration became one of the Grateful Dead’s most recognizable icons. The image was later solidified in the band’s discography (music publishing history) when Kelley and Mouse reused it for the cover of the group’s seminal 1971 live album titled Grateful Dead.

Details
Title
"Skull and Roses," Grateful Dead, Oxford Circle, September 16-17, Avalon Ballroom
Artist Life
born 1940
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2019.59.27
Provenance
Paul Maurer, Minneapolis; given to MIA, 2019.
Catalogue Raisonne
Family Dog 26
Curator Approved

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Family Dog poster no. 26; skeleton surrounded by red and white roses and wearing a crown of roses against blue background

© Chet Helms DBA Family Dog Productions. All Rights Reserved

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