The Westmoreland Presents Era of Cool: The Art of John Van Hamersveld

An exhibition and related events celebrate the pop artist behind iconic album covers and posters for the likes of the Beatles, the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones.

GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania (May 30, 2019) – As summer 2019 heats up, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art will be keeping things cool with a celebration of pop art, centered on an exhibition of work by one of the genre’s most influential artists. The Era of Cool: The Art of John Van Hamersveld opens on July 20 and runs through October 20, 2019.

Over the past five decades, multidisciplinary artist John Van Hamersveld has created works of instantly recognizable graphic design. Early in his career, he crafted the legendary “Endless Summer” poster to advertise the 1966 film. Subsequently, he became immersed in the world of rock and roll as art director for Capitol Records Distribution Company. During the 1960s and ’70s, he designed such iconic album covers as the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour,” The Grateful Dead’s “Skeletons in the Closet,” and the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street,” as well as concert posters for artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Bob Dylan and many others.

Era of Cool will include a selection of Van Hamersveld’s album covers, poster designs, drawings, mural designs, photography and paintings.

“We are excited to open Era of Cool: The Art of John Van Hamersveld,” says Richard M. Scaife Director and CEO Anne Kraybill. “Over the past five decades, Van Hamersveld has created a wealth of instantly recognizable graphic design. We invite visitors to experience the eye-pleasing alchemy created when pop culture, music, and visual art converge.”

Other programming associated with the exhibition:

Listening Session with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Wed., Aug. 21, 7–8:30 p.m.
Nwaka Onwusa, Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, leads an interactive conversation and listening session celebrating the overwhelming musical explosion, creativity and impact of rock n’ roll music during the ’60s and ’70s by revisiting familiars sounds that shaped the culture while uncovering stories and sounds that helped to challenge and propel rock n’ roll further. $8 members / $10 non-members.

In Conversation with John Van Hamersveld
Wed., Oct. 2, 7–8:30 p.m.
Join Chief Curator Barbara Jones as she talks with graphic artist, designer, photographer, professor and author John Van Hamersveld. Learn the story behind his iconic, career launching “Endless Summer” poster and hear more about the numerous album covers and posters he has designed for bands such as the Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Blondie and the Rolling Stones. Plus, learn about the numerous mural and public art projects he continues to do today. $8 members / $10 non-members

Dinner for a Small Planet with Author Frances Moore Lappé and Chef Taylor Kalasky
Sat., Sept. 21, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
At the same time John Van Hamersveld was creating album covers for the counterculture movement of the 1960s and ’70s, many started to embrace vegetarianism. Pioneering that movement was Frances Moore Lappé who wrote the bestselling cook book Diet for a Small Planet in 1971. More than just another hip vegetarian cookbook, Frances used the printed page to explore not only healthy eating, but the environmental and economic impact of food production and its contributing role to world hunger.

Presenting a meal with a conscience, good for the consumer and the planet, The Westmoreland invites you to a unique vegetarian culinary experience that blends conversation with Frances and food inspired by the recipes from her book, prepared by Chef Taylor Kalasky of Yumzio Bistro. Learn more about being a vegetarian or how to embrace simple steps like “Meatless Mondays” during this delicious four course meal. $50 members / $60 non-members

Summer Saturday
Endless Summer Beach Party
Sat., July 20, 7 p.m. to movie end
July’s featured movie is Endless Summer! We’ll keep the summer going while celebrating the Era of Cool with live beach tunes by Stage Right!, fun outdoor and in-Museum activities, Barry’s Italian Ice, Smoker’s BBQ and a cash bar. Movie begins at dusk and the fun will go on rain or shine. In the instance of inclement weather, we will move activities inside and have the movie viewing in the Community Room. Sponsored by Penn State New Kensington/Penn State University New Kensington Alumni Society. FREE

Summer Saturday
The Rolling Stones and “Pirates of the Caribbean”
Sat., Aug. 17, 7 p.m. to movie end
Set sail with us during our August Summer Saturday! We’ll raise the Jolly Roger with live Rolling Stones covers by Tupelo and Noah, fun outdoor and in-Museum activities, Barry’s Italian Ice and a cash bar. August’s featured outdoor movie is “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” with Keith Richards. Movie begins at dusk and the fun will go on rain or shine. In the instance of inclement weather, we will move activities inside and have the movie viewing in the Community Room. FREE

2nd Annual Greensburg MusicFest, presented by The Westmoreland Cultural Trust
Fri., Sept. 13, 6-8 p.m.
(For a complete schedule of MusicFest events, visit
It’s MusicFest night in Greensburg! While you’re out and about, be sure to stop by the Museum and listen to live music outside and some of your favorite records inside. In collaboration with Rabbit Hole Records, enjoy various genre listening stations inspired by John Van Hamersveld album covers, discuss the differences between vinyl and digital recordings, and make a playlist of your own. Also, check out our Robert Shaw Gallery to view the exhibition A Musical Number. FREE

Peace. Love. Art.
Sat., Oct. 5, 7:30-11 p.m.
Don’t be square! Break out those vintage vibes and join us for one groovy night celebrating the Era of Cool with music by Them Vibes and our special guest, John Van Hamersveld! The evening includes a variety of bites and cash bar. Proceeds from this event will support The Westmoreland’s exhibition and education programs. Dress Attire: Ratted-up Beehives and Psychedelic Threads (aka Fun Cocktail Attire). $60 members / $75 non-members

For more information, visit this link.

The Westmoreland’s hours:

  • Wed. – Fri.: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sat. – Sun.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Mon. – Tues.: closed (except for scheduled school groups and partner programs)

Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Hillman Exhibition Fund of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

The Westmoreland receives funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the Marketing to Attract Tourism Grant through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, among other funding from government, foundations, corporations and individuals.



About The Westmoreland Museum of American Art: 
Western Pennsylvania’s only museum dedicated to American art, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is a place to share meaningful cultural experiences that open the door to new ideas, perspectives and possibilities. The Westmoreland’s extraordinary permanent collection, with its strong focus on the art and artists of southwestern Pennsylvania, is complemented by an impressive schedule of temporary exhibitions— both nationally traveling exhibitions and those organized by the Museum—as well as community-oriented programming and special events. More information is available at and on the Museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.

Liz Fetchin
Owner/Director, Elm Ink