Boston, MA—On Saturday, November 16, 2019, the Boston Book, Print & Ephemera Fair returns to the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley at Stuart St., for its eight edition. The show features 60 dealers from 15 states—a cross-section of antiquarian book dealers, sellers of vernacular photography, and traders in rare paper, prints, and other ephemera. Fair hours are from 8 am to 4 pm.
The morning is often very busy and material sells quickly so plan to come early for the best selection.
This year’s fair also boasts an exclusive art exhibit titled “Appeal to the Great Spirit: Designing the Beach Boys (1961-74)” which focuses on the visual side of the hitmaking pop group known for such Top 40 fare as “Surfin' USA,” “Surfer Girl,” “God Only Knows,” and “Good Vibrations.”
From 1961-65, the Beach Boys were ostensibly the face of West Coast surf and hot rod culture. They donned matching Pendletons and candy-striped shirts for their album covers, billboards, and on-stage uniforms, then transformed into psychedelic avatars in the later 1960s with the creation of leader Brian Wilson's masterpieces: “Pet Sounds” and “Smile.” The Beach Boys of this era, in fact, came to embody topics such as eco-consciousness, free love, pacifism, meditation, and civil rights; and when they started their own record label in 1967—dubbed Brother Records—the band appropriated the famous “Appeal to the Great Spirit” statue outside the Boston Museum of Fine Art for its logo.
This exhibition, for the first time ever, chronicles all the visual sources as well as the designers of print and fashion material that went into making the Beach Boys a pop culture institution. Besides album sleeves and advertisements, there will also be original photographs, blacklight posters, concert tickets, vintage books and magazines, and unused artwork from the Capitol Records archives. Lastly the curators—Brian Chidester and Domenic Priore (authors of “Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom”)—take the story of the Beach Boys in design up through the 1970s and '80s, with their many bootleg LPs and fanzines, and on through the alternative rock-era, where unsanctioned posters and tribute albums to “Pet Sounds” and “Smile” abounded. This part of the exhibition shows the growing role that fandom plays, not just in matters concerning the Beach Boys, but in every area of pop culture these days.