Thursday, May 31, 2012

David Stone Martin (and Friends)

Many artists dabbled in record jacket illustrations during the mid-20th century...

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but aside from David Stone Martin, I doubt any could claim to have influenced the look of an entire era in record jacket design.

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DSM made jazz album cover art his domain.

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Many imitators followed in his footsteps.


Here's one by ... I can't quite make out the signature.


I suspect that for a time, art directors at every label wanted that David Stone Martin 'look' on their album covers just as much as some illustrators felt inspired to attempt it.


Tracy Sugarman was clearly riffing on DSM...


... and, I think, so was Fred Steffen.



I've only just learned about Steffen today, while preparing this post.


Fred Steffen was a Chicago illustrator who created a series of record jacket illustrations for the Mercury label in the 1950s. Here's one very hot cover by Steffen for a Lionel Hampton album from 1955.


Later in his career, Steffen created illustrations for the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. He was a past president of the Chicago Artists Guild. Steffen was 83 when he passed away in 1997.

1 comment:

  1. I collect covers by Fred Steffen. There are three outrageous examples over at my blog (and I have more):