What was this 70s art book about marijuana?
December 14, 2019 5:16 AM   Subscribe

Many years ago, a friend showed me a paperback art book. The art style was very much 1970s psychedelia (all black-and-white linework, IIRC), and the book was almost certainly from the 70s. I'm pretty sure it was explicitly marijuana-themed. I think the images were accompanied with short passages of text. What might this have been?

I don't remember whether the book was all artwork, or had passages of just text.

I remember that the artwork looked like being stoned feels, if that makes any sense. The style was definitely recognizable as 1970s, but it wasn't just standard-issue Peter-Max/Dead-poster psychedelia – it also had a style of its own. Weirdly, it reminded me a bit of the line art that I've seen in hippie cookbooks of the era, or even certain Tolkien editions.

I recall one of the first pieces in the book as a two-page spread of a fanciful naturescape, including marijuana leaves, with text singing the praises of weed. (But I might be making this entire paragraph up.)

Ring any bells? The artwork was rather striking (at the time, anyway – I was probably stoned myself, haha), so I would expect it to be reasonably well known.

posted by escape from the potato planet to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This doesn't completely match your description, but: "Occupied Spaces" by Brad Johannsen (1977) may bear some resemblance? See here for a good sampling and description: http://theporporbooksblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/occupied-spaces.html?m=1

-it's mostly color, but it is 1970s psychedelia, with short text passages interspersed.

-there are certainly references to substances and naturescapes, but it doesn't come off as explicitly "about" mj (the plants and trees don't have the explicit look)

-the text passages are almost all borrowed ( Rimbaud, Lewis Thomas, Joni Mitchell...), though there are a couple short poems by the author, one of which talks about digging and weeding a garden...

-the artist's other major book, "High Tide", is earlier 70s and more rare. Despite the title, what I've seen of it doesn't totally match your description either.

I'm guessing that you are thinking of a different artist/book, and that there may be dozens or hundreds in this sort of genre. I just recently acquired OS by Johannsen, so thought I'd mention it just in case.
posted by mean square error at 7:28 AM on December 14, 2019

Response by poster: Nope, that's not it. The one I saw had a more natural/organic feel, and was (almost) definitely black-and-white line art. Neat, though!
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:31 AM on December 14, 2019

Art Nouveau?
posted by WCityMike at 10:43 AM on December 14, 2019

The art-to-text ratio doesn't seem right, but any chance it was The Connoissur's Handbook of Marijuana?
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 10:50 AM on December 14, 2019

It wasn't the Child's Garden of Grass by Jack Margolis, was it? Paperback, 1970, artsy psychedelic cover.
posted by forthright at 7:07 PM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Nope – none of those, unfortunately.

I'm realizing that my vague details are probably totally insufficient to identify this book.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:35 AM on December 15, 2019

It might be tricky to trace, as there were many obscure self-published hippy-era Art books from the era. Not answering the question, but the style reminds me a bit of 'Be Here Now' & 'The Medium is the Massage' & artifacts like that, etc.
posted by ovvl at 4:10 PM on December 15, 2019

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