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Stanley Mouse and the Pacific Ocean Trading Co. (+ one more week of “Mouse House”)

There is a less than a week left to view “Mouse House,” our exhibition of works by iconic poster artist Stanley Mouse at our 1506 Haight Street pop-up gallery.

Mouse in front of 1711 Haight Street (photo by Jim Marshall) in 1967.

In 1967, Mouse—our current SF Heritage Artist-in-Residence—opened one of the Haight Ashbury’s truly memorable businesses—the Pacific Ocean Trading Co. (POT Co.) at 1711 Haight Street. Run with artistic partner and fellow poster artist Alton Kelly (1940-2008), POT Co. was one of the first head shops in Haight-Ashbury and where they also created and distributed their poster art.

They opened the shop right when the Haight was “turning on” during the Summer of Love, and it was at this time that they created some of their most iconic art: only the year prior to opening POT, Co., in 1966, they created their famous “Skull and Roses” Grateful Dead poster, and in 1967 they were hired to create the cover of the band’s first album.

Mouse’s iconic Grateful Dead art, created with Alton Kelley, on display in SF Heritage’s 1506 pop-up gallery.

In a 2020 interview with SF Heritage artist-in-residence Jeremy Fish, Mouse described the scene on Haight Street the year they opened POT, Co.: “And sometimes there was such a parade going down the street every day in ’67 that sometimes we would close the doors, set up chairs inside the shop, and just watch.”

Exterior of the Pacific Ocean Trading Co. at 1711 Haight Street, 1967. San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, SF Public Library, AAB-3959.
An original art print for Pacific Ocean Trading Co drawn by Stanley Mouse. SF Heritage photo.
SF Heritage Artist-in-Residence Jeremy Fish interviews prolific San Francisco-based artist Stanley Mouse in October 2020.

They ran the shop for a few years before closing it in 1969-1970. Today, 1711 Haight Street is home to Ayara Thai Massage. Mouse took a trip down memory lane when he paid a recent visit to his old shop space with Haight Street Voice’s Linda Kelly:

Mouse in front of 1711 Haight Street on August 1, 2022 (photo by Linda Kelly).

It is fitting that we highlight this fun piece of businesses history during our Heritage in the Haight month, in which we are spotlighting the history of iconic Haight-Ashbury businesses.

Catch “Mouse House” until Wednesday, August 31! Exhibition hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM. A closing reception will be held from 5:00-7:00 PM, with Stanley Mouse in attendance, on August 31.


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