M.I.T. Student Posters '68-'71 (Originals)

Original M.I.T. Student Posters '68-'71 Student Life at M.I.T. Designed and Produced by APO Students '68-'71 Lot of 76 posters
Boston, Massachusetts
Silk Screen and Other Printing
Unrestored original condition
good as found condition, bright colors and strong print images, cardstock is white or solid colors, minor blemishes on some, pinholes at corners in some posters from hanging, many posters appear to be unused, three oversized posters professionally conserved show remaining evidence of use and abuse. Sizes Various: small poster typical 11" x 13 7/8" medium poster typical 14" x 22" large poster 26 1/8" x 15 7/8" extra large " Werewolfe above the Dome" 26 1/8" x 8 1/8"
11 × 14 inches
Sale Status: 

This large collection of seventy-six (76) visually exuberant M.I.T. student life posters from 1968 to 1971 were published by the M.I.T. chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) to adorn the infinite corridor and other M.I.T. campus locations, pinned to bulletin boards, walls, doors and other receptive surfaces. This visually and topically wide-ranging set of posters have distinctive graphic art that was designed to advertise upcoming APO sponsored lectures, academic lectures, volunteer opportunities on and off campus, APO contests - Ugliest Man on Campus, a lunar lander dropping down into Carnival, student government elections, The Institute Screw Contest, radical and traditional theatre, movies, WTBS 88.1 FM, academic colloquia and MIT's campus culture itself. Topics range from the arcane to contemporary music and art - Laura Nyro and Richie Havens at Kresge Auditorium for example, international drama, environmental activism and physics and mathematics. The graphic art and lettering are varied depending on the subject matter, often ironic or with meaning within meaning. There are many visual puns. APOSTER, APO Type Foundry or A.P.O. appears on almost all of these posters, some with the artist's name such as RJM, MB/hatfield, WiZ, and Bromberg. Two of the posters are not signed APO, one for the Theater Workshop Boston and another for an Environmental Day. 

There are manuscript notes on the back of several of the posters, one expressing the print run with a mathematical formula. The name "Funks" is on the verso of each poster. There are three primary size formats, approximately 11" x 14", 14" x 22", 15 7/8" x 26" and a banner size 26" x 8". Condition is generally very good, with bright colors throughout. Many posters appear to be silk screened. Several designs in multiples of two or three. Some posters have signs of use, and several medium or large format posters have staining at lower margin. The posters may have been kept as a proof set or collected before posting as very few posters have pin or staple holes and some posters are in two formats, with and without text or multiple color formats.

These MIT student APosters are 20th c. American broadsides and enduring ephemera. They are Americana.. The art and fonts speak of the times. This large collection demonstrates an ongoing cultural tradition at MIT of student composed art displayed in posters and banners to animate the community.1/ Typefaces, graphic design and color all convey meaning. The design and printing of these posters trained the hand, eye and mind. That is as true today as it was when these '68-'71 posters were printed. The print tradition at MIT endures.    

Topic Highlights in the MIT Posters - irony, humor and irreverence:
-Spring Carnival APO Presents the theme: MIT IS A CARNIVAL April 19 Rockwell Cage
-MIT Chaplaincy Guest Lecture: Sexism Racism and Anti-Semitism: Patriarchy and Paronoia (sic) and Matriarchy and the Mastery of Nature" the imagery suggesting otherwise
-UMOC The Blob Comes to MIT covering the Dome
-Physics employment opportunities forum with big Yellow Taxi
-MIT Blood Drive - "We Can't Make Blood in a Lab"
-Technological Fixes versus Real Solutions- Technology & Culture Seminars
-Fresh Dates * For Everyone New Shipment to Arrive Shortly MIT Date Service Class of '72
-Wanted for eleemosynary troglodytism Ugliest Man On Campus
-The Big Screw Returns AlphaPhiOmega Institute Screw Contest Kaleidoscope
-Laura Nyro MIT Kresge Auditorium
- Richie Havens MIT Kresge Auditorium
-Support Your Local Underground Theater. HEAD PLAY. Theater Workshop Boston allowed to re-open in Boston.
-Werewolf embracing the MIT Dome
-Great Old Flicks Benefit for the Pakistan Cyclone Victims
-The Greatest Story Ever Told. So Far.
-WTBS 88.1 FM /2

Description: Sold as a Lot of 76
-original, printed color ink posters on poster stock, some appear to be silk screen, some printed as color proofs in a series, final designs as displayed, some appear unused, multiples of 2 or 3, avant guarde  Boston theatre posters published by others, manuscript notes on verso of several posters
Condition: as found, original good condition, bright colors and strong print images, card stock original white or solid color, minor blemishes on some, pinholes at corners in some posters from hanging, many posters appear to be unused, three oversized posters professionally conserved show remaining evidence of use and abuse.
Dimensions:  small poster typical 11"  x 13 7/8"
                     medium poster typical 14" x 22"
                     large poster 26 1/8" x 15 7/8",                                   "Werewolfe above the Dome"  26 1/8" x 8 1/8"
1. There continues to be Institute wide attention to the topic of fonts and typefaces as vehicles of meaning and design including the MIT Media Lab itself. Please see,2021-MIT-CEE-Visual-Identity-Guidelines.pdf
Digital Typography | Media Arts and Sciences | MIT OpenCourseWare
News + Updates — MIT Media Lab

2. WTBS ( Technology Broadcasting System) 88.1 megahertz FM went on air April 10, 1961. The wavelength was chosen to be 3.40 meters, equal to 2 smoots. The station was student run, but included office campus art and culture. These call letters in 1978 became of interest to Ted Turner, who wished to operate a commercial broadcasting system (TBS as the acronym for Turner Broadcasting System). According to Wikipedia, as appropriate a source for this story as any, in a combination of agreements between Turner and WTBS, and upon approval by the FCC granting Turner a broadcasting license as TBS, and Turner's $50,000.00 in "donations" to the radio station  on November 10, 1979 MIT radio assumed WMBR, as its new call letters. The new MIT FM radio station signed on with increased watts and a new transmitter from its upgraded station in Walker Memorial Building basement.

Item Type Taxonomy: 
Geographic Scope: 
The Back Room