The designer of the iconic ‘Woodstock’ poster was 85 – Deadline

Arnold Skolnick, the creator of one of the most iconic images of the 20th century with his poster for the Woodstock festival, died June 15 in Amherst, Massachusetts at age 85. The cause of death was respiratory failure, according to his son Alexander Skolnick.

Skolnick was not a big fan of rock music when he designed the poster within days. Skolnick was 32 at the time and created the “peace, love and music” message with an image of a guitar neck with a white bird perched on top. Underneath, there was the slogan “3 days of peace and music”.


“I brought it (to the festival producers) on Monday afternoon,” said Skolnick, who received the assignment the previous Thursday. “It was just another job, but it became famous.”

Originally, Skolnick toyed with the idea of ​​a flute in the picture, but later switched to a guitar. As for the bird, Skolnick says many people thought it was a dove. But his inspiration was the catbirds he drew on Shelter Island, New York. “I forgot to tell the printer that the beak should be black,” Skolnick revealed, “and so it’s a red beak.”

Skolnick was paid $12,000 for the work, cost-sharing with an editor. He attended Woodstock for a day, but left before the rain started.

Survivors include her sons Alexander and Peter from her first marriage to Irish Jay. Skolnick is also survived by his grandchildren Mose and Charna, and his sister Helene Rothschild.

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