Pemabo of the Peace Garden Challenges “Earth’s Leaders”
San Francisco: self-published, ca. 1965. Offset printed two-sided flyer in black ink on yellow paper. Near fine. Item #6203
Born in Australia, Bond moved to San Francisco at the age of 25, and by the 1960s had become a well-known character of San Franciscan folk art and an influential figure for the much younger counterculture coalescing around Haight-Ashbury. In 1959, he published The Trio of Disaster, which a decade later Rolling Stone magazine would describe as “old-fashioned religious Free Thought and philosophical anarchy, tempered with Victorian straight-lacedness and crusty eccentricity” (Thomas Albright, Visuals: Peter M. Bond in Rolling Stone, May 3, 1969).
A professional sign painter for many years, Bond used his unique lettering to outline and promote his pacifist philosophy - in these flyers and in the hand-painted signs that covered the Peace Garden, an outdoor installation next to his home at 1039 Clayton Street. Having arrived in San Francisco the year before the great earthquake of 1906 and survived the so-called “Spanish Flu” pandemic in 1918, Bond moved into the house on Clayton Street in 1945 and was an octogenarian by the time first beatniks and hippies showed up. Despite his disapproval of drugs (“they are blister, a pimple on Father Time”), he frequently counseled the young acid freaks and potheads who showed up to the Peace Garden.
Though his work was widely celebrated, and he had begun to achieve a certain recognition in his final years, the Garden was emptied and most of the signs destroyed after his death in 1971.