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Archives: 1968–1972 Walker Performing Arts flyers

1968 Here is another (slightly overwhelming) group of images from our archives: a series of performing arts pamphlets from the late 1960’s/early 70’s that roughly sticks to the same system. The earliest pamphlet is from April 1968, a black-and-white flier for JAZZ at the Guthrie (which turns out to be one of the most interesting […]

1968

Here is another (slightly overwhelming) group of images from our archives: a series of performing arts pamphlets from the late 1960’s/early 70’s that roughly sticks to the same system. The earliest pamphlet is from April 1968, a black-and-white flier for JAZZ at the Guthrie (which turns out to be one of the most interesting of the bunch). The last pamphlet we could find was from March 1972 for Merce Cunningham and his dance company. (Hold your mouse over the cover images to see who the flier is promoting.)

The system began as a black-and-white, 5.5 x 8.5 single-fold pamphlet with the name and a high-contrast image of the act it was promoting on the cover. The insides usually remained entirely typographic with the back cover acting as an advertisement, usually for a local business (such as The Electric Fetus record store, which thankfully is still around today). Through ’69 the designers dabbled here and there with having a cover that relied solely on image and by 1970 that idea became part of the system. The first pamphlet of 1970 also began the implementation of a colored paper stock with a single color ink. The luscious design does its job perfectly: turning these gods of music into mythologized versions of themselves—a collection of portraits of living legends. 

1969

1970

1971

1972


BACKS & INSIDES

Doug Benidt, a curator here in Performing Arts, informed me that Sue Weil, in partnership with the Guthrie Theater, was responsible for booking these extraordinary shows such as The Who, Captain Beefheart, Silver Apples, Miles Davis, and The Beach Boys. As coordinator of Performing Arts, Weil had a unique relationship with many of the acts she brought to Minneapolis. She often invited the performers to stay at her home in Minnetonka, MN. The article also states that Weil “made a habit of attending to the personal needs, as well as professional ones, of visiting artists.” For instance when John Cage, a mushroom fancier, came to town she would make sure to have fresh mushrooms on hand. In a separate article in the Minneapolis Tribune from June, 1969 it mentions that when Pete Seeger came to town, she picked him up from the airport, drove him to his hotel and went home to bake him bread. When the Star asked Cage to contribute his thoughts on Weil, he obliged by submitting a poem which uses Weil’s name as its crux.

Also, if you are wondering why the majority of the fliers have holes punched through them, it’s because years ago someone had archived them by putting them in 3-ring binders. That was before our stellar archivist, Jill, took over. Thanks Jill for letting us hold on to these for so long.

  • Sara Kerr says:

    Wow! These are cool. The fronts would make a great series of posters.

  • Barry Rubin says:

    I am old enough and was connected to a woman who worked at the Walker Book Store and I got to see many of these shows. Thanks so much for the memories!!!

  • Charlie Montreuil says:

    Please, Please reprint these. Make them available to the public. Having gone to the last appearance of Led Zeppelin at the Saint Paul Civic Center in 1977 these posters are a dream come true!

  • Ashley Duffalo says:

    This is a book waiting to happen! Totally rad, thanks for sharing this secret treasure trove, Michael.

  • John Briner says:

    These are great collectibles. These pamphlets and fliers that feature artists as mythologized versions of themselves should be reproduced or should be made into a book. Thanks for posting this, it brings back so many memories of the good old days.

  • White Ash says:

    Wow ~ these are most AWESOME!!! Love love love the one of Elton John.

    By the by ~ that would be Frank Zappa, not Alice Cooper, with the Mothers of Invention.

    Peace out!!

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