This is a silk-screened reprint from the original the famous “Hunter S. Thompson For Sheriff” silk-screened poster, signed and inscribed in pencil in the white margin below by Hunter S. Thompson’s widow Anita Thompson. Anita wrote “With love from Owl Farm HEART Anita Thompson 2020”.
This poster is number 34 from a numbered limited edition of only 100 (#33/100).
The original version of this was designed by Thompson and Benton for Thompson’s 1970 bid to become Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado (Aspen, CO). This version is slightly bigger than the original — it has a much wider outer white border than the original. This one measures 24″ x 29.5″.
Sold with Certificates of Authenticity from both The Autograph Source (Lifetime Guarantee) and independent third-party authenticator Beckett Authentication Services.
Proceeds from the sale of this poster went to the Owl Farm Trust to keep Owl Farm and the legacy of the Good Doctor alive in spirit (something that Anita works hard for).
In 1970 Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado [Aspen], on the “Freak Power” ticket, promoting the decriminalization of drugs (for personal use only, not trafficking, as he disapproved of profiteering), tearing up the streets and turning them into grassy pedestrian malls, banning any building so tall as to obscure the view of the mountains, and renaming Aspen “Fat City” to deter investors. Thompson, having shaved his head, referred to his opponent as “my long-haired opponent”, as the Republican candidate had a crew cut.
With polls showing him with a slight lead in a three-way race, Thompson appeared at Rolling Stone magazine headquarters in San Francisco with a six-pack of beer in hand and declared to editor Jann Wenner that he was about to be elected the next sheriff of Aspen, Colorado, and wished to write about it. Thus, Thompson’s first article in Rolling Stone was published as The Battle of Aspen with the byline “By: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (Candidate for Sheriff).” Despite the publicity, Thompson ended up narrowly losing the election. While actually carrying the City of Aspen, he only garnered 44% of the county-wide vote in what became a two-way race as the Republican candidate for sheriff agreed to withdraw from the contest a few days prior in order to consolidate the anti-Thompson votes as long as the Democrats withdrew their candidate for county commissioner. Thompson later remarked that the Rolling Stone article mobilized his opposition far more than his supporters.
Tom Benton’s close friends included many of the politicians in the Roaring Fork Valley (Aspen) and in 1970 he gained national recognition as the artist who created the posters for Hunter Thompson’s infamous campaign for Pitkin County Sheriff. Though Thompson lost the election a new order had begun to take hold in Aspen. In the years after that defeat, Tom continued to work to get the people he wanted to see in office elected and even reached the national stage when he designed posters for Gary Hart and George McGovern in the early 70’s.