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ⓒ Grateful Dead Archive
The Brittingham Family Foundation Dead Central exhibition room is located in UC Santa Cruz's McHenry Library, on the main floor, just inside the front door. Dead Central is open to the public during normal library hours, and is free of charge.
Welcome to the online guide to the second annual exhibition of the Grateful Dead Archive, “Songs of Our Own: The Art of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon.” This exhibit documents the extraordinary art that celebrates the Grateful Dead and their fans, from Jerry Garcia’s student days at the California School of Fine Arts to the poster renaissance of the Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s to the increasingly sophisticated art created by Deadheads in the 1970s and after, and finally by band members in the 1990s.
In 2003, lyricist Robert Hunter wrote that “I’ve come to realize that the art movement that accompanied the rise of the Dead is as much a part of what we became in the public eye as the songs and our playing of them.” This exhibit shows how that remarkable art informs the Grateful Dead phenomenon and helps define its significance. The art of the Dead is a vital part of the rich artistic legacy of the Haight-Ashbury, and for thirty years, Grateful Dead concerts were occasions to continue the extraordinary renaissance of art that flourished in the Haight in the sixties.
This guide provides a brief outline of the exhibit with a checklist of works exhibited, credits, and a list of sources for further reading.