“Be All You Can Be. Read”: Peter Max’s 1969 Psychedelic Poster for National Library Week

04 - Nat Lib Week 1969

In 1969, Peter Max was creating psychedelic illustrations that captured the countercultural spirit of the 1960s. Bright, trippy, and thought-provoking, Max’s artwork fused together “eastern yogi philosophy, astronomy, comic books, studies in color, and music.” And it certainly found an audience. By the late 60s, college dorm rooms across the U.S. were plastered with Max’s posters. 72 corporations — from General Electric to Burlington Mills, a manufacturer of socks — licensed his art for commercial use. Meanwhile, in ’69, Max appeared on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and the cover of LIFE magazine (with main article titled “Peter Max: Portrait of the artist as a very rich man”).

Even while the corporate gigs were rolling in, the German-born illustrator took on less commercial projects, like creating this poster for National Library Week, an annual event organized by the American Library Association. Measuring 36 x 24 inches, the 1969 poster, aesthetically speaking, is vintage Max. And it carries a message that sounds as good today as it did then: “Be All You Can Be. Read.” Now dare I steer you toward of our collection of 500 Free eBooks? An easy way to make you, a better you.

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via Biblioklept

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  • Isabella Twilight says:

    I own this poster. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it over (10) years ago. It belonged to a private party & was not for sale. Years later I saw it was to be disposed of & asked the owner for it & they gave it to me! It is beautifully & professionally framed in black with yellow & orange borders. It hangs in my dining room where I can see it every day. I do not know its worth. I have seen many price ranges for it, but I would never sell. I have always been a Peter Max fan. I love psychedelia & this is one of his best.

  • Jimmy Nichols says:

    I have what i believe tobe a original (be all you can be)buy, its signed by Debi Bouchard. Confused

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