2,000+ punk rock flyers, free as they were intended to be
Punk flyers from the 1970s to the 1990s shared many of the qualities of the music they promoted–a DIY aesthetic, an embrace of cheap and accessible technology (i.e., photocopiers), plus a healthy dose of humor. In contrast to the often ornate Art Nouveau-inspired rock posters of the psychedelic 1960s, punk flyers typically featured dissonant collages, crude handwriting, and amateurish drawing–not to mention a strict limitation of color.
While punk rock continually regenerates, with new bands and subgenres popping up cyclically, the advent of digital technology for design and social media for dissemination has made the flyer less central to the community. And since these flyers were temporary announcements often stapled or pasted in public places, they are a particularly evanescent form of folk art.
Thankfully, the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Division is sharing freely more than 2,000 of these rare flyers as an Artstor Public Collection.
Cataloged and shared via JSTOR Forum, Cornell’s Punk Flyers collection is made up of the Johan Kugelberg punk collection, which includes hundreds of fliers, posters, zines, original art, and more, and the Aaron Cometbus Punk and Underground Press Collection, which includes punk, new wave, and hardcore flyers and other ephemera from the San Francisco Bay area and beyond.
You may also be interested in another one of Cornell University’s Public Collections in Artstor: Hip Hop Party and Event Flyers