Michael Rossman (1939–2008) was a writer, activist, and a prolific collector of political posters. His first book, The Wedding Within the War (Doubleday, 1971), is a collection of personal essays about the free speech, antiwar, and counterculture movements. It was followed by On Learning and Social Change (Random House, 1972), which covered education reform, and New Age Blues (Dutton, 1979), about the early New Age movement. Born in Denver and raised in Northern California, Rossman earned a degree in mathematics from UC Berkeley, then dropped out of graduate school to devote himself to activism, including a three-month jail stint in 1967. Rossman’s 23,500 political posters, the All Of Us Or None collection, were amassed over forty years. (The title takes its name from a poem by Bertolt Brecht.) With limited capital to expand his collection but great acuity as to its social value, Rossman salvaged posters from the streets and negotiated with artists and printshops. The All Of Us Or None collection was accessioned by the Oakland Museum of California in 2010.
Friday, November 19, 2010