Sources: SBSun – By Michelle Mills | All Things Michael
Since Alex Steinweiss created the first record cover for Columbia Records in 1938, music and art have had a love affair.
The Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale celebrated this union 10 years ago with the exhibition “Revolutions,” toasting the artists behind seminal work linked to the music of the 1960s-’80s. And now it’s revisiting the concept with a new exhibit.
On Saturday, the venue will unveil “Revolutions 2,” a show commemorating its predecessor with more than 175 artworks, ranging from album covers and posters to paintings, photographs and sculpture by more than 35 artists.
“The art itself is fabulous and beautiful. People are familiar maybe with the album cover or the poster — seeing the art and how it was created is interesting,” said Joan Adan, director of the Forest Lawn Museum and curator of “Revolutions 2.”
Exhibiting Glendale artist Hugh Brown started out photographing bands but now works in a range of media. While in England, he shot musicians like the Talking Heads and Patti Smith before they were famous, and later they asked him to design their album covers. Brown went on to become the creative director of IRS Records and Rhino Records.
“I have tons of records in my collection that I bought; I had no idea who the band was, but thought ‘Wow, what a great cover, this must be good,’ and rarely was I ever disappointed,” Brown said.
Music art is a form of advertising, so it’s fitting that Steinweiss came from an advertising background and told Columbia Records that it should put pictures on its record covers — at the time, covers were plain paperboard and sometimes had only the music genre or artist’s name written on them. Adding images boosted record sales.
“So it’s advertising art, but totally creative, and because it was the music business you could get away with a lot and do crazier stuff,” Brown said. “You wanted to push the edge a lot and it was really fun. It was a way to do something that you’d want to do for yourself but get paid for it.”
Photographer Mike Salisbury of Venice sold greeting cards door to door at age 6 to raise money to buy a camera. He has since worked for major magazines in the United States and Europe and photographed celebrities like Truman Capote, Ricki Lee Jones and George Harrison. Salisbury also has been an art director and designer and is noted for creating Michael Jackson’s black-and-white look and Levi’s 501 brand name.
“The thing about the music business is it always was a cooperative effort with many artists and somebody like me taking the picture and doing the design,” Salisbury said. “I didn’t do anything but present it to them, they didn’t dictate and say it’s got to work like this. It was always very much a partnership with the artist and the producer and myself.”
In many ways, “Revolutions 2” will offer a touch of nostalgia.
Artis Lane — a Los Angeles-based sculptor and painter who has captured the likeness of Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones and Miles Davis — said that wandering through “Revolutions 2” provides an opportunity to remember a favorite concert.
“If they went to that performance, this is a way to hold on to it. The painting is the artist’s thought objectified,” said Lane. “It comes alive again for you.”
When: Opens Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday through Aug. 2.
Where: Forest Lawn Museum, Forest Lawn-Glendale, 1712 S. Glendale Blvd.
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