Step Inside San Francisco's LSD Museum

Anna Green

Mark McCloud sees art in illegal substances—or at least, artistry in their delivery system. The San Francisco resident collects acid blotters, which are illustrated sheets of paper used to distribute LSD. Since the 1970s, McCloud has collected more than 33,000 sheets of LSD, which he carefully frames and displays in his Institute of Illegal Images.

McCloud claims that extended exposure to sunlight and oxygen has neutralized the chemicals that once made his blotter art hallucinogenic. The pages upon pages of UFOs, suns, and smiley faces that adorn his walls may be trippy, but they won’t make you trip. McCloud told WIRED that each unique illustration once served as a calling card for a drug dealer—a way for buyers to know where their LSD was coming from. But McCloud’s fascination with blotter art is more aesthetic than historical. “What fascinates me about blotter is what fascinates me about all good art,” McCloud says in the video above. “It changes your mind.”

Check out the rest of WIRED’s short video profile of Mark McCloud and his LSD museum above, and see more of McCloud’s collection on his website.

[h/t WIRED]

Banner image credit: WIRED, YouTube