Original poster from "The Endless Summer" created by John van Hamersveld

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Original, silk screened, 60 x 40 inch, Day-Glo poster for “The Endless Summer” movie designed by John van Hamersveld. Van Hamersveld was the Art Director for Surfer Magazine and a friend of R. Paul Allen at the time. He was only paid $150.00 for the iconic design of both actors and the director, silhouetted on the beach, against the setting sun. Allen, the assistant cinematographer on the movie, hired silk screener, Eric Askew to produce the poster in a garage in Costa Mesa, California.
In 1962 John Van Hamersveld was working as the Art Director for Surfing Illustrated Magazine before moving to Surfer where he was working when he created this Day-Glo poster. The poster’s premise was Browns but Van Hamersveld took Bob Bagley’s image of the movie’s stars Mike Hynson and Robert August and Brown and transformed it into a 1960s neon masterpiece. The lettering was handwritten by Van Hamersveld. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, a critic wrote of Van Hamersveld's iconic poster, "The colors the image was rendered in, the pinks and oranges and yellows out of a Crayola box, out of a Life Savers roll, out of an acid trip, anticipated Timothy Leary’s 'Turn on, tune in, drop out' by a good three years."
"The Endless Summer" movie was written, produced and directed by Bruce Brown in 1964. Brown also served as the narrator of this surf ‘diary’ following two young surfers for one summer, around the globe, in search of the “perfect wave.” It was in limited release in 1964 and released worldwide in 1966 grossing $5 million domestically and over $20 million worldwide. Its simplicity was part of its enduring appeal and while naïve and corny to today’s audiences it was an integral part of surf history. “The Endless Summer” introduced the world to surfing, a nation of bored teens to the idea of travel and created a popularity of surf culture that endures today.
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Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Snow & Surf
Popular Entertainment
Movie Collection
Sports & Leisure
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Motion Pictures
Entertainment, Film
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 60 in x 40 in; 152.4 cm x 101.6 cm
National Museum of American History
Object Name
poster, surfing