The image featured on the classic 1988 California Artichoke Festival Poster is one of photographer Sue Bennett’s most iconic. Bennett was an internationally renowned freelance photographer whose works stand out for their creativity, professionalism, substance, and technical accuracy. She passed away, at age 55, in 2003 following a car accident near Palm Springs, California.
Model Joanne Gallaher’s friendship with Bennett began in 1977 over a dinner that consisted entirely of artichokes and beer. Nine years later, they made the first of several pilgrimages to Castroville – “the Artichoke Capital of the World” – to research an article that Gallaher was writing on artichokes and to attend the annual
Artichoke Festival. It was during this 1986 trip that Bennett hatched the idea for the Artichoke Woman© photograph. Her inspiration came from the discovery that Marilyn Monroe, then an unknown starlet, had been crowned California’s first Artichoke Queen in 1948, and years later, she appeared as Playboy’s first “centerfold.” That famous pose later drew comparisons to another renowned photo, Annie Leibovitz’s image of Bette Midler, star of the 1979 movie “The Rose,” in a bed of roses.
Thirty years after the debut of the poster at the 1988 festival, this year’s festival provides an opportunity to honor Bennett’s life while continuing to pay homage to the Hollywood legend who was crowned the first Artichoke Queen 70 years ago.
A retrospective of Bennett’s lifework is currently on display at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. For more information, please visit:
Poster production and specifications
The 1988 California Artichoke Festival Poster is a limited-edition collector’s item that cannot be recreated or reproduced in its original form. Following is a description of the printing process:
Printed: September 1988
Finished size: 21-7/16 ” x 31-1/4 “
Paper: 80# Quintessence Gloss Cover
Artwork: Furnished as camera ready
Separation: One UltraDot 300 at 20 x 24 from color print
Prep: Stripping, compositing, blueline, color key and matchprint proofs
Press: Print nine over zero; first pass on the press was a four-color process and in-line gloss varnish.
The second pass was two PMS colors, a tinted dull varnish, and a spot gloss varnish.
Quantity: Total number printed was 1,500. Approximately 500 were distributed through initial sales and marketing; several hundred were destroyed following the closing of Sue Bennett Photography; 105 remain available for sale. Free shipping within USA.