Muir Beach 1965
The Acid Tests were events that were primarily the work of novelist Ken Kesey and a group of followers known as the Merry Pranksters. The first Acid Test poster appeared in late 1965 and was followed by several other dates and designs. This design is the first and is quite rare today. A number of years ago, a small hoard of the yellow-paper version showed up and is the most common - especially in top condition. These also come on blue or white stock and are very rare; two examples on white stock that were hand-colored sold in late 2007 for over $40,000 each. For many years, the poster design was ascribed to Norman Hartweg but in July 2016, we received confirmation from Paul Foster's wife that he was the artist.
The original poster was printed on either blue, goldenrod or white stock and measures approximately 17″ x 22″.
There is an authorized reprint done by ArtRock that is a very high-quality silk screen. This reprint was a limited run of 350, numbered and signed by Ken Kesey. These measure approximately 19″ x 25″. A few of these were hand colored in glitter ink by Kesey and the Pranksters; these are usually signed by numerous Pranksters.
In addition, there are some small reprints that measure approximately 11" x 17" that surfaced more recently. While there are a couple of people that believe these to be real (and our competition has sold one in auction as such) we believe that they are 100% fake. Ours reasons are too numerous to list here but suffice it to say that everything about them is wrong and the foggy recollections of one Prankster are not enough to make them real. We would love to be proved wrong on these but for now we recommend extreme caution if you are considering the purchase of one.
Last, there are numerous smaller reprints done by both Norman Hartweg and Zane Kesey Productions. Both carry a printing credit denoting who reprinted the item. Neither of these carries much value as they were printed in huge numbers.
- Paul Foster