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The VW Light bus photo by Volkswagen
May 21

Gallery Talk with Dr. Bob Hieronimus

Gallery Talk
02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - Level 0
About the Event
Dr. Bob Hieronimus will share insights on the symbolism behind the "LIGHT" VW bus design, the significance of the exhibition, and much more. Joined by the owner and mechanics of the bus as well as members of the "LIGHT" band, Dr. Bob and friends will address and meet with fans from within the Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix exhibit areas on Level 0 inside the Rock Hall. This event is free, but a museum Admission Ticket required to enter the exhibits space.
Dr. Bob and the VW "Light" bus
Non Members
Dr. Bob and the VW "Light" bus
Dr. Bob and the VW "Light" bus
Bob painting the original bus in 1968
Bob painting the original bus in 1968
About Dr. Bob

Robert R. Hieronimus, Ph.D. (“Dr. Bob”)is an artist, author, and radio talk show host from Baltimore where he has painted over 40 symbolic murals and dozens of painted Artcars. In the late 1960s he traveled with several rock and roll bands to share information about mysticism and to design posters and album covers. In 1969 instead of using his tickets to attend Woodstock, he finished the 2,700 square foot prophetic Apocalypse mural at the Johns Hopkins University, which led to Hieronimus being called “one of this country’s best muralists” by Forecast Magazine. Art historian and critic Alan Barnett noted, “Hieronimus has a talent for winning the cooperation of the establishment while he lives and works in the counter-culture.” Author of Occult America Mitch Horowitz said, “Hieronimus is the artist of our inner life as a nation. His artwork is the silence between the notes of the national anthem — the esoteric symbolism and ideals that undergird our country.”

Hieronimus’s “symbolic” style is carefully mapped out as a comprehensive teaching guide intended to inspire the viewer to look within themselves to find the divine spark that connects us all as one.

Artist Mission Statement

In 1968 when I first designed and painted the LIGHT VW Bus, it was a painful year for America.  The year before we had celebrated the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper turning many of us on to expanding our consciousness and creating a more meaningful state of existence. I was among many who began regular meditations and communal living and eating vegetarian. The world was changing for the better. Then came the summer of 1968 with horrific turns in Vietnam, followed by the shocking assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Student-led protest actions, draft card burnings, and clashes with the police began ramping up the anger. We sadly began to realize that our celebration of the “dawning of the Aquarian Age” had been premature.

This was my state of frustration when I was commissioned by my friend Bob Grimm to cover his VW van in symbols and turn it into a “magic bus.”  My friend Bob Grimm and I were sharing the new understanding and shifts in consciousness brought on by a daily meditation  habit, and we both knew that a rolling billboard of symbols would reach people with their messages without ever needing words. I decided to pour all my intention into the magical purpose of redirecting the consciousness of viewers away from the current administration’s constant drumbeat of war and suppression.

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