The first time I went to Mark McCloud's Institute of Illegal Images, I saw two distinctive pictures of Albert Hofmann, each with an equally distincitve Hofmann signature and a drawing under them of the LSD and Psilocybin molecules. One portrait was of Albert Hofmann and the other was a portrait of Albert Hofmann with Timothy Leary. Both look a bit like Polaroids and, while they aren't, over time I've come to refer to them as The Polaroids and heard a few others refer to them that way as well.
The Polaroids were originally produced by Dr John Beresford as a way for Albert Hofmann to help him raise money for his LSD Prisoner Project.
I really wanted one of these for myself, but saw no conceivable way to go about getting one.
Over time, the solution became obvious -- sell enough stuff for Mark to warrant getting one at a good price.
I sold a few Hofmann signed Mind States blotter art prints and raised enough money from each consecutive sale to be able to squirrel away money to start a personal collection of blotter art and related relics.
Now, over ten years later, I've got a reasonable personal collection. I still do not have a Hofmann - Leary signed Shields, the so-called Holy Grail Of Blotter Art, but I do have a small collection of other Not For Sale signed Hofmann relics, including the two different "Polaroids".
I was recently having coffee with a friend I'd met through McCloud. The friend wanted to pick up a print of the Rainbow Jimi blotter art print for a Hendrix freak friend of his and we met at a local coffee shop and were talking a bit about how we knew Mark and so forth. In the course of conversation, he happened to mention that he'd befriended John Beresford.
We talked a bit more and I asked if he happened to have one of these Polaroids. I'd been brokering the sales of them for years through McCloud and the stash was finally diminished. The last Polaroid that went through my fingers sold for $3500 to a very enthusiastic collector. Well, as it turns out, this friend just so happened to have a framed Polaroid himself and I told him I'd give him the lion's share of the sale if I could find a suitable buyer.
So, as The Fates would have it, even though I've said repeatedly that I do not have any more of the Hofmann Polaroids for sale, I now have one. But I've also got a few earnest collectors who've already told me to be on the lookout for one.
At this point, the blog post is more to tell the story than to solicit a sale. Don't be surprised if the Polaroid is sold before you read this.