26" x 32 3/8" Handprinted Original Woodblock Print on100% Cotton Rag Somerset Velvet Black 250 gsm
Artist: Robert Ross
Robert Ross met Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner in late 1961, on a visit to their household at Newton Center, Massachusetts. Within a year or so they had moved to an estate in Millbrook, New York, where Ross was an occasional guest. In 1964 Leary and Alpert asked him to design and print a poster for their first major public presentation on the subject of LSD and consciousness expansion (titled HOW TO USE YOUR HEAD), at NewYork's Town Hall. Ross was an art student at The Cooper Union, and used the school's printmaking studio to create the first ever, original LSD poster. It was a large (26 1/4" x 32 1/2") multi-color woodblock print on black archival Murillo paper, in an edition of 18 signed and numbered prints. Around the same time, Ross also designed the cover of the premier issue of Castalia Foundation's publication THE PSYCHEDELIC REVIEW.
A Second Edition of the LSD Poster was printed by the artist in 1992 from his original woodblocks; on identical black Murillo paper, from virtually identical printer's inks; consisting of 18 signed and numbered prints.
In 2009 MAPS commissioned Ross to print a Third Edition. The Third Edition was produced by the artist on an upgraded, more luxurious archival paper, 100% cotton rag Somerset Velvet Black 250 gsm; the lighter weight Murillo paper being unavailable. The Third Edition was printed from the original woodblocks using high quality Daniel Smith Opaque Relief Inks, in an edition of 25 signed and numbered copies. Note that these are very large format (26" x 32 3/8"), handprinted original woodblock prints, as distinct from digital, silkscreen, offset or other photographic reproductions.
The whereabouts of only two copies from the First Edition can be accounted for at this time, in the hands of collectors. The Second Edition prints have been dispersed mostly one by one over a span of fifteen years; a couple of them are offered by book and document dealers on the internet. Even in limited edition subsequent to the original printing, this work from the artist's own hands is a rare artifact of unique historic and aesthetic significance. The 25 copies of the signed and numbered Third Edition are being offered exclusively to MAPS supporters for the duration of 2010. $1,000 each x 30