Peter Bailey

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Peter Bailey

(San Francisco, California, 1924 - 1991, San Francisco, California)

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An artist, poet, calligrapher and printer, Peter Bailey is best remembered for his design work for San Francisco’s East Wind Printers during the 1960s and his long association with the San Francisco Zen Center. Born in San Francisco in 1924, he moved with his family to Los Angeles and Seattle. Bailey studied fine art for a few years at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., one of the five Claremont colleges. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war he returned to live in Sausalito, Calif. He was instrumental in founding the Sausalito Art Festival in the mid-1950s. Bailey worked for San Francisco’s East Wind Printers from around 1955, and became well regarding for his design talent. Bailey provided a collage illustration for the poster for the 1964 San Francisco Arts Festival. He began designing publications and flyers for the S.F. Zen Center in 1965, and designed its magazine “Wind Bell” for 25 years. He also designed publications for the Esalen Institute of Big Sur, Calif. Bailey also worked on event posters. He provided the calligraphy for a poster and a handbill for two of the dance benefits for the San Francisco Mime Troupe organized by Bill Graham (1931-1991) in 1965 and the poster and handbill the three-day Trips Festival in late January 1966, sponsored by Graham and the author and LSD advocate Ken Kesey (1935-2001). Bailey designed two posters for Graham’s dance concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium. The first was for a concert by the Jefferson Airplane in February 1966 (printed by East Wind Printers; BG-1), the first of Graham’s famous series of dance concerts; the second was for a February 1967 concert featuring Country Joe & the Fish (BG-59). In the late 1960s Bailey moved from Sausalito to San Francisco’s North Beach district, doing free-lance design work, including designing catalogs for the 1968 city-wide art exhibition involving many galleries, "Rolling Renaissance - San Francisco Underground Art Celebration: 1945-1968." Suffering from arthritis and other health problems, he moved into an apartment at the Zen Center on Page Street in 1984, where he lived until he died in April, 1991. (TNB 12/2016) Selected bibliography: “Don’t be Saddish—Bite This: An Appreciation of Peter Bailey,” Wind Bell, Publication of [the San Francisco] Zen Center, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 25-28, Fall, 1991. (Pulled from De Young Musuem, HER 11/14/17)

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