Browse Exhibits (2 total)
The Europe ’72 tour represented the most ambitious undertaking in the Dead’s career to date. While they had played Europe before—two dates in England in 1970 and one in France in 1971—the 22 shows they performed over the course of April and May 1972 represented their most extensive foreign tour. Indeed, their only other foreign tours had been to Canada, once for an eight-date engagement with Jefferson Airplane in summer 1967, and the commercially ill-fated but hugely entertaining four-date Trans-Continental Pop Festival tour in 1970, immortalized in the Hunter-Garcia song “Might As Well” and ultimately in the 2004 documentary Festival Express.
In the 1960s, the Grateful Dead played a defining role in what has come to be called the San Francisco Poster Renaissance. Theirs was the name that most strongly inspired a visual identity rooted in the spirit of the Haight-Ashbury, and even more importantly, seemed tailor-made for iconic representation. Although one of many bands immortalized in the poster art of the era, the Dead are the most famous to have emerged from that time, and their centrality to the art can be seen in many of the images here.