June 17, 1940
|Died||June 1, 2008
|Known for||concert posters, logos, album covers, fine art|
Alton Kelley (June 17, 1940 in Houlton, Maine – June 1, 2008 in Petaluma, California) was an American artist best known for his psychedelic art, in particular his designs for 1960s rock concerts and albums. Along with artists Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso and Wes Wilson, Kelley founded the Berkeley Bonaparte distribution agency in order to produce and sell psychedelic poster art.
Along with fellow artist Stanley Mouse, Kelley is credited with creating the wings and beetles on all Journey album covers as well as the skull and roses image for the Grateful Dead. Kelley's artwork on the 1971 self-titled live album, Grateful Dead, incorporated a black and white illustration of a skeleton by Edmund Sullivan, which originally appeared in a 19th-century edition of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.
In 1995, Kelley designed and printed a limited edition poster of Jack Kerouac to raise money for the Jan Kerouac Benefit Fund. Kelley is also credited for the cover art for the King's X album Ear Candy in 1996.
He was brought up in Connecticut and worked as a welder there.
- "Topic Galleries". Courant.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "'60s Psychedelia Artist Alton Kelley Passes Away". allaboutjazz.com. 2008-06-02. Archived from the original on 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
- Joel Selvin (June 3, 2008). "Alton Kelley, psychedelic poster creator, dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
- Patricia Sullivan (June 3, 2008). "Alton Kelley, 68; Graphic Artist With a Flair for the Psychedelic". Washington Post. p. Page B06. Retrieved 2008-06-03.