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A 12-inch by 12-inch canvas.
February 19, 2008 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Before Alex Steinweiss invented the album cover in 1938, at the age of 23, all albums came in plain brown wrappers. Steinweiss's idea to create a package that had something visual on the outside to lure the consumer was a huge success. A tribute show for the 90-year-old Steinweiss will be held at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica, California, until February 23, 2008. More about Steinweiss here and here. First link via.
posted by amyms (13 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, it's Steinweiss I have to thank for Midnite Vultures, eh?
posted by katillathehun at 12:35 AM on February 19, 2008


Oops, here's the correct "tribute show" link.
posted by amyms at 12:43 AM on February 19, 2008


One of the best posts ever. (Maybe that's just the avid collector in me that has and still does buy many a record just for the sleeve design.) Thanks so much.
posted by horseblind at 1:02 AM on February 19, 2008


Album covers with pentagrams.
posted by three blind mice at 3:02 AM on February 19, 2008


His stuff is wonderful, I've been a fan for years. Thanks for the great post!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:04 AM on February 19, 2008


WOw, these covers are amazing! Great Post.
posted by johnj at 4:12 AM on February 19, 2008


This book of his jackets comes recommended.

And those of you who dig Steinweiss' art might also be interested in Jim Flora. Here's an FPP I made on him a while back.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 AM on February 19, 2008


Back in the early days, people posted the "Worst Plain Brown Wrappers" list to MetaFilter (well it was actually a cork board at the feed shop) a couple times a month at a minimum.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:24 AM on February 19, 2008


"Before I came along, all cartoon animals did was play the ukulele. I changed all that."
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:29 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who came up with the idea of putting JPEGs in torrents?
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:56 AM on February 19, 2008


My music collection consists solely of .flac files now. I don't miss album covers one bit.
posted by wastelands at 6:31 AM on February 19, 2008


My music collection consists solely of .flac files now. I don't miss album covers one bit.

If your music collection is comprised of this then I'd understand your lack of nostalgia.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 8:34 AM on February 19, 2008


Great post! But is that first album cover from 1938 reproduced anywhere? Kind of odd that everybody talks about how revolutionary it is but doesn't actually show it. (Also, it's annoying that the covers in the first link are presented simply as artworks, with zero information on date or anything else.)
posted by languagehat at 8:38 AM on February 19, 2008


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