Arts & Events

Oakland Museum Debuts the Michael Rossman Collection of Political Posters

By Gar Smith
Tuesday July 12, 2011 - 09:11:00 AM

Karen McLellan and archiving consultant Lincoln Cushing have announced the posting of the first 1,322 of the 24,500 posters in Michael Rossman’s unparalleled collection of political posters. The initial selection is part of the Oakland Museum of California's exhibition of Rossman's "All Of Us Or None Archive." 

The All Of Us Or None (AOUON) archive project was started by Free Speech Movement activist Michael Rossman in 1977 to gather and document the poster-work of modern progressive movements in the United States. Though earlier work is included, its focus is on the domestic political poster renaissance, which began in 1965 and continues to this day. 

The Archive gathered posters from all streams of progressive activity — from movements of protest, liberation, and affirmative action, trade union and community struggles, to electoral and environmental organizing, community services, and visionary manifestos. Though strongest in work from the San Francisco Bay Area, its scope is national: one-quarter of its holdings come from out-of-state. These are complemented by an archive of international work. The collection consists of approximately 25,000 distinct titles. The collection is now part of the Oakland Museum of California. 

The initial release of this unparalleled collection has been greeted with rave reviews . Michael's friends at the FSM-Archives have called the collection “major eye candy,” “spectacular,” and “dazzling.” 

The Museum will be mounting a public exhibition in the near future. In the meantime, the first 1,322 posters can be seen online at the following link: