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home | Acid Test Chronicles | Acid Test Chronicles Page 2 (The Pau . . .
 

Acid Test Chronicles Page 2 (The Paul Foster poster / Formerly known as the Norman Hartweg poster)

History and Known Information Concerning the Paul Foster poster.
Previously, up until July 4, 2007, it was falsely assumed by collectors and psychedelic art enthusiasts that Norman Hartweg designed the famous "Can You Pass the Acid Test?" poster.
I learned of this mistake, by accident, when visiting Ken Babbs place in oregon of 2007, for a Fourth of July Pic-Nic. Read more about this amazing new discovery down below.  


  

   One day in the beginning of 2007, I was talking with Zane Kesey and he invited me to attend a picnic at Ken Babbs place on the fourth of July. I was excited because it was an opportunity to meet living Pranksters and also get my poster signed by more people. It was during this event that an extremely important revelation took place. This was ground zero of the research concerning acid test posters. Chuck Kesey was signing the poster and I made the statement to him, concerning the poster being the only surviving colored in example of Norman Harweg's Acid Test poster, and he inturrupted me and said "Norman Harweg didn't design this poster, Paul Foster did. Where did you get the idea that Norman Hartweg designed this poster?" and he laughed. I stated to Chuck Kesey that everyone in the poster collecting world knows that Norman is the one who designed the poster. He insisted without hesitation, that Paul Foster designed it. His next words to me were "I remember Paul designing the poster, sitting around in the living room, he was making it..., Norman had nothing to do with that poster".


  

   Well, I asked a few people, and most didn't remember, but I did speak with Mike Hagen for a while and later visited with him at his home. He knew that Paul Foster had desiged the poster as well. He still had a printing plate which had Paul Foster's doodles on it, for some comic book art he drew once. I immediately recognized this as the same artwork as on the poster "Can you Pass the Acid Test?" Now I had some confirmation, myself, along with two Pranksters who knew this firsthand. I said very little of this at the time.

  

   The next trip happened one day when I was scouring my resources for new leads and I came upon the not so notorious Prankster Lee Quarnstrom. I say not so notorious because most people don't know who he is. Lee is one of the first pranksters on the scene. Lee was a writer and journalist and traveled to the Bay area to meet and do a story on Kesey and the bus, and stayed at the Spread in Soquel. He lived there with Ken and Fey, Ken Babbs and several others and joined the Pranksters and never got off the bus.

  

   I was chatting it up with him via e-mail, and asking about his past and what he knew about some memorabilia I recently picked up, and his recollections of it, and soon I was inquiring about his own items which he still might have. Lee was warm and kind. He extended his friendship to me from the start, and he is very real and genuine. In one particular e-mail I recieved, before money or values were discussed, Lee told me he still had his diploma and graduation poster. I responded by asking him, the Shazam poster? and what condition is it in, etc., etc.? He didn't seem to understand me in some way, and tried to correct me and point out, "the Paul Foster poster I was given at the Graduation". This led me to some confusion. I figured at this point, he had a framed poster of the Hartweg, which was really a Paul Foster poster, and he had been given one at the graduation or something like that. Cool, I thought, and made him an offer for the Diploma and the Poster but I wanted to know what condition the poster was in, and so forth. He replied that it was in great shape and framed for years now. I asked to see a pic, but he told me to just take a look at it when I came down to visit and I didn't think much of it at the moment.

Image from the book, "Kesey's Garage Sale", illustrated by Paul Foster, a known "Cartoonist".
   Image from the book, "Kesey's Garage Sale", illustrated by Paul Foster, a known "Cartoonist".
Another image from the book, "Kesey's Garage Sale", illustrated by Paul Foster, a known "Cartoonist". All one has to do is look and compare the doodles and very detailed illustrations to notice that Paul Foster designed the famous poster above, not Norman Harweg.
   Another image from the book, "Kesey's Garage Sale", illustrated by Paul Foster, a known "Cartoonist". All one has to do is look and compare the doodles and very detailed illustrations to notice that Paul Foster designed the famous poster above, not Norman Harweg.


This leads into another astounding discovery I made about one of the acid test posters. - The Paul Foster Miniature, discussed on Page 5