Relive Austin's 'Golden Age' in New Poster Exhibit

Poster art reflects city's live music and counterculture movement

JUNE 26, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – Relive Austin's "Golden Age" through poster art that captures the spirit of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 70s in the capital city of Texas. When Austin Got Weird, curated by the Bullock Texas State History Museum, opens Friday, July 11, 2014 and is on view through Sunday, September 14, 2014 in the third-floor Rotunda Gallery.

Although the slogan "Keep Austin Weird" was not trademarked until 2000, it had its roots in Austin long before. Using music posters from two Austin collections, the exhibit explores the poster artists and music venues that defined Austin's cultural scene between 1967 and 1980.

A visible counterculture emerged during this time, launching a cultural revolution often referred to as the Golden Age of Austin by those who experienced it. Rent was cheap, the music was great, and the once small, sleepy town emerged as a breeding ground for activism.

From the archives of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Austin History Center, 29 posters have been selected from artists Jim Franklin, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Burns, Micael Priest and others to trace Austin's transformation from simply the political capital of Texas to a music capital of the world.

Highlights of When Austin Got Weird include posters by artists featuring famous musicians, such as Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Fats Domino and the Ramones. Texas favorites, such as Asleep at the Wheel, Sir Doug and the Texas Tornadoes, and Shiva's Headband are featured as well.

In addition to the posters featured in the exhibit, a series of podcasts have been created to be accessed through QR codes scanned with smart phones and other mobile devices. These podcasts include music relative to a specific poster, with narrative context often provided by musicians, including Ray Benson, Marcia Ball, Gary P. Nunn and Jimmie Vaughan.

The exhibit complements The 1968 Exhibit, on view through Sept. 1, 2014 in the museum's Herzstein Hall. This exhibit reveals the social forces that crested in 1968, a year that shaped the rest of the 20th century, and brings to life this pivotal American year through photographs, artifacts, vintage pop culture items and interactives. Visitors will see an iconic purple jacket worn by rock legend Jimi Hendrix, Mr. Rogers' sweater and sneakers, vintage album covers and Vietnam-era artifacts, such as a full-size Huey helicopter.


The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café, and Museum Store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit or call (512) 936-8746.