Inasmuch Foundation Gallery

"Tailored Jackets - Second Fitting" - 59 signed album jackets dating from 1923 to 2003

February 19 through March 27, 2015

OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center

Tailored Jackets Art Exhibit

Enter to win the Bessie Smith poster featuring a 78 rpm of "Downhearted Blues" ca. 1923.  You must visit the gallery to complete an entry form.  The winner will be announced on March 30, 2015.

Bessie Smith Poster

Jackets (album covers) have been around in one form or another since 1910. One of their artistic predecessors may have been sheet music. The jacket, as most people think of it, was introduced in 1938 by Columbia Records’ first art director, Alex Steinweiss. His introduction of album covers and cover art caught on and by the late 1940s most major record companies featured their own artwork.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, the 12” LP record and the 45 rpm were the major formats for the distribution of music and featured the creations of all types of artists, graphic designers, photographers, writers, and typesetters. The jacket became an important part of the culture of music at this time, both as a marketing tool and expression of artistic intent. Listeners, as well as shoppers, had ready and easy access to an outpouring of creativity that dazzled, delighted, and shocked. Jackets also influenced the way people looked at and interpreted a world that was changing, almost as fast as albums, containing “the voices of the people” expressing their hopes, dreams, desires, observations, and yes, even their fears, were receiving airplay. Both the imagery that was upon and often inside these jackets, and the sounds within, left a lasting impression on the psyche of the people who lived through this period. Both jackets and albums are still receiving the attention of the world and the institutions that preserve the world’s cultural artifacts.

With the advent of CDs and digital downloads, the classic 12” LP is in hiatus, if not an endangered species. In August 2008, album cover designer Peter Saville, responsible for cover art on albums by New Order and Roxy Music, suggested that the album cover was dead. During their golden years, jackets were transported throughout the world. Those in this exhibit were, in addition to their designed function, utilized to accept the signatures of the musicians whose music led to their creation. We’ll never know exactly what took place at the time these signatures were received, though anyone who has had the opportunity of obtaining the autograph of one of their musical greats knows the singular experience. Enjoy the imagery, the graphic design, the typesetting, framing, and the “signature tailoring” of these jackets that continue to engage all who partake of their finery.

 Jefferson Starship Album  U2 Album
Jefferson Starship:  Spitfire U2:  The Unforgettable Fire
 Big Country Album
Big Country:  Peace in Our Time