This poster was designed and printed by David Lance Goines for Alice Waters to promote the seventh anniversary of her restrauant, Chez Panisse. The reclining nude was originally intended for a Kenwood wine label, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms rejected it deeming the picture “obscene or indecent.” Goines redrew the label with a skeleton in place of the woman, but, as you could guess, the BATF was still unamused. He eventually recycled the design for Alice, who apparently had fewer regulatory issues with it.1
The wine label wasn’t Goines first run-in with the authorities. During his sophomore year at UC Berkeley he was expelled for his participation in the Free Speech Movement, and even served a month in jail.2 He was eventually readmitted but soon quit to apprentice under the Trotskyist printer Marion Syrek at the Berkeley Free Press, where he “printed damned near every piece of inflammatory trash for damned near every radical cause for damned near seven years.”3
Alice met David through their mutual involvement in the Free Speech Movement and by the summer of 1966 they were living together. While Alice was learning to cook David was learning to print and as he later recalled: “Truly momentous disasters occurred on a regular basis, both in my artwork, which I destroyed, and in her cooking, which she destroyed.”
In 1968 they collaborated on a column, “Alice’s Restaurant,” for Marvin Garson’s short-lived alternative San Francisco Express Times. Alice provided the recipes and David did the calligraphy and linoleum-cut illustrations. He later collected the columns and printed them as Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing.4 Even at 7.50 USD/copy the loose-leaf collection proved to be surprisingly popular and remained in print until 1978.
The profits from the first three printings – some 6000 USD – allowed him to buy out the Berkeley Free Press, which he rechristened as Saint Hieronymus Press.5
On 28 Aug 1971 Alice, with a group of friends, finally opened her restaurant based on her ideas of la cuisine du marché using simple, local, sustainable and organic ingredients.6 I hardly need to fill you in on the rest of the story – today Alice and Chez Panisse are culinary and cultural institutions.
In a recent talk David recalled the restaurant’s opening night “We had this big, elaborate menu which I spent 72 hours printing without a stop and we didn’t use it at all because there was nothing on the menu that was ready to serve.” Over the years, however, he would have plenty more chances, designing and printing everything from menus to books to posters. His 40+ years of work for alice and her restaurant are a perfect overview of his design philosophy.
1. For a complete list of his posters, including images, production notes and commentary, see goines.net.
2. Goines was arrested during the Sproul Hall takeover on 2 Dec 1964 giving him some serious radical antiestablishment cred. For a detailed history, see: Goines, David Lance. The Free Speech Movement: Coming of Age in the 1960s. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1993. A revised version of the full text is available online at the University of California’s Calisphere site.
3. Which, honestly, is damned near the best thing ever quoted here by your humble narrator.
4. Waters, Alice, Goines, David Lance. Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing. Berkeley: Saint Hieronymus Press, 1970. The folio, consisting of 30 lithographs in a paper cover, was in print until 1978 and went through at least six printings:
5. Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, AKA St. Jerome (ca.347 – 30 Sep 420) was one of the original Doctors of the Church based on his voluminous early writings. He is perhaps best known for his Latin translation of the Bible commissioned by Pope Damasus in 382. Today he is the patron saint of archeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, students and translators. He is not, however, the patron saint of printers (that would be St. Augustine).
6. For more about David and Alice, as well as a complete history of Chez Panisse, see: McNamee, Thomas. Alice Waters and Chez Panisse. New York: Penguin, 2007, or Kamp, David. “Cooking Up a Storm.” Vanity Fair. Oct 2006. (online).
11 Feb 2010, updated 18 Jul 2012 ‧ Design