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Grateful Dead Records: Artwork
MS.332.Ser. 9  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection consists of the visual works of art and related correspondence amassed during the late 20th and early 21st centuries by the American rock and roll group the Grateful Dead. These works were created over the span of 50 years by the band members, their fanbase, and professional artists who designed works for merchandising purposes, with the majority of works dating from the 1980s to the 2000s. Works created by professional artists in the Business Art component include numerous design mock-ups that utilized the Grateful Dead's established visual iconography for albums, t-shirts, posters, and various items of ephemera. The Fan Art component contains contributions donated by the fanbase of the Grateful Dead and includes paintings, illustrations, models, plush toys, audience signage displayed during performances, sculptures, collage works, stained glass panels, prints, and artist portfolios. The Band Art component contains visual materials created by the members of the Grateful Dead and includes sketches, illustrations, and paintings.
Background
The Grateful Dead were an American rock band that formed in 1965 in Northern California. They came to fame as part of author Ken Kesey's Acid Tests, a series of multimedia happenings centered around then-legal LSD. Famed for their concerts, the band performed more than 2,300 shows over thirty years, disbanding after the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia in August 1995. Although their only Top 10 hit, "Touch of Grey," charted in 1987, their popularity was based on concerts, and in their last decade they consistently placed in the top five tours every year. Known for the range of their repertoire and the caliber of their compositions, the Dead's songbook has been covered by a wide range of other musicians, from Bob Dylan to Jane's Addiction. They released thirteen studio albums and nine contemporary live albums during their career, and more than 100 live releases since then. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Extent
175 Linear Feet 40 boxes, 9 map-case drawers, and 103 oversized items
Restrictions
Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/reproduction-publication.
Availability
Collection is open for research. Advance notice is required to access large and framed items so that they can be retrieved from storage. Please contact Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access.