Jerry Garcia

Grateful Dead banner art goes up for auction

Grateful Dead banner art goes up for auction

The first time poster artist and architect Jan Sawka heard the Grateful Dead, he was serving time in a military prison in Wroclaw, Poland, for leading a protest against the communist regime. It was 1969, and fellow prisoners covertly tuned into an illegal broadcast of the Woodstock Festival.

Fast-forward to 1988. Sawka had settled in High Falls, N.Y., when Grateful Dead lawyer Hal Kant and his wife, Jesse, came to visit. Kant introduced himself as a sort of secret collector of Sawka’s work. Among the Sawka pieces he owned: a folio of 25 hand-colored and hand-printed dry point engravings titled “A Book of Fiction” and a life-size, working telephone booth covered in writings on...

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