Fans of classic rock and psychedelic art got the chance to enjoy and buy original examples of 1960’s posters during the opening of the Bahr Gallery in Oyster Bay’s newest exhibition, “The Hippie Ethos.” The exhibition, which runs from April 14 to July 16, features stunning posters from classic bands and musicians of the period like the Beatles, Country Joe and the Fish and John Denver.
The Bahr Gallery is an art gallery dedicated to first-edition psychedelic rock poster art, owned and operated by Oyster Bay local Ted Bahr. Bahr, a lover of classic rock, explained that although he’d only been officially working on the exhibition for the last two years, in many ways he had been planning it since college.
“I was entranced by the hippie ethos, the idea of peace and love being able to change the world and other idealistic things like that,” Bahr said. “In some ways this is almost like the exhibition I’ve been waiting for since we opened five years ago.”
There were dozens of posters lining the walls of the gallery with a variety of listed prices, although most cost around $3,000. Bahr mentioned that several of his favorites included a poster from the New York City nightclub Electric Circus, one from Country Joe and the Fish as well as one made by the psychedelic illustrator and painter Jacqui Morgan.
Bahr mentioned that although 85 people had RSVP’d to the event, he estimates that more than 100 guests ended up visiting the opening on the night of April 14. Visitors came from everywhere from Massachusetts, Virginia and western Pennsylvania for the chance to see and potentially buy one of the gallery’s vintage posters.
One of the faraway visitors was Andrew Parr, who drove up from Alexandria, Virginia for the exhibition. Parr mentioned that he stumbled upon the gallery while driving up to New Hampshire several years ago, and fell in love with the art and vibe of the place.
“The first time I stepped into the gallery it was just like, ‘This is nirvana,’” Parr said. “These posters are all amazing, and I love that they’re historical. The only problem is I’m running out of space on my wall.”
Although Bahr only sold one poster that evening, he said that was typical for the first night. He added that people really need time to find which ones they loved, as well as find the room in their house to put them.
Bahr said that it was also important to him that the gallery help promote the community, and to that end he included a map of the hamlet highlighting the different restaurants and spots that customers visiting from out of town can visit while in Oyster Bay.
“We are delighted to bring people from other communities to the hamlet and invite them to our openings and music nights and then go out and eat at one of Oyster Bay’s fine restaurants,” Bahr said. “We feel very connected to the community in that respect.”
The gallery is open in the afternoons from Thursday to Saturday, but Bahr added that they frequently keep the doors open throughout the week, and encourage anyone interested to stop by or call if they want to make an appointment.