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Stanley Mouse (born 1940)
Grateful Dead, Oxford Circle ( Avalon Ballroom), 1966
offset lithograph
50.8 x 30.2 cm (20 x 14 1/4 in.)
The Oakland Museum of California, gift of Family Dog Productions
© Family Dog Productions

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Biography of Stanley Mouse

Born in Detroit, Stanley "Mouse" Miller began his artistic career in the late 1950s, "pinstriping" cars and airbrushing designs on T-shirts while traveling around the country with the hot-rod circuit. During this period he was also a part-time student at the Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts in Detroit. In 1963 he established his own corporation, Mouse Studios, producing a line of decals, posters, and T-shirts.

Mouse moved to Berkeley, California, in 1964, where he first met the artists associated with the Family Dog organization, which produced dance concerts at the old Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. He later replaced poster artist Wes Wilson at Family Dog, and beginning in June 1966, in collaboration with Alton Kelley, helped to establish the psychedelic style of expression under the name "Mouse Studios." This creative team produced a number of striking concert posters over the next two years, incorporating humor and commercial images that resonated in the hippie culture, with one of the most famous featuring ZigZag cigarette rolling papers.

When the demand for rock posters dropped off in the 1970s, Mouse and Kelley moved on to rock T-shirts and album covers. Their cover for Steve Miller's album, Book of Dreams, won a Grammy award in 1977. Although production was limited, Mouse and Kelley's 1978 Blue Rose poster, created to commemorate the closing of the Winterland Arena, is considered a classic from this decade. Stanley Mouse currently lives with his wife in Sonoma, California. He has made a career from licensing the commercial rights to his rock designs, and is also working to establish his reputation as a fine art painter.

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