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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

David Stone Martin (and Friends)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

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.

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

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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.

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Tracy Sugarman was clearly riffing on DSM...

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

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

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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.

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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):

    http://big10inchrecord.blogspot.com/search/label/Fred%20Steffen

    ReplyDelete

 

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