Jim the Icon Maker and a New Exhibit: “The Art of the Album Cover”

This Johnny Cash image is featured on the cover of the album "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison" (1968).

This Johnny Cash image is featured on the cover of the album “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison” (1968).

Highlights from Jim Marshall’s legendary photo work for album packages (he shot more than 500 of them) are being featured along with two other classic photographers and “icon makers” – Joel Brodsky and Barry Feinstein – in a first-time exhibition of iconic album art at the San Francisco Art Exchange: 458 Geary St., 800.344.9633.  The must-see show opens this Saturday night, June 8, from 7 pm-10 pm.

In conjunction with this exhibit, Jim Marshall Photography LLC is releasing four limited-edition estate prints in a series of 25 each.  The series is composed of  the Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia images that accompany this blog post and are some of the most iconic, and never before printed, of Jim’s album cover images.

This image of Jimi Hendrix was featured as the album cover for "Hendrix in the West" (1972).

This image of Jimi Hendrix was featured as the album cover for “Hendrix in the West” (1972).

Printed in the same square format as an old-school vinyl album cover, these 20-inch x 20-inch estate prints are a great and rare opportunity for pop and fine art collectors to acquire the original album photograph and, perhaps, display it alongside the album itself.  Too cool.  This exhibit is an idea I think Jim would have just loved, especially getting to share the stage with Joel and Barry’s work, as well.  For more info about the exhibit opening, check out this link.

From the SFAE’s press release:

“Jim Marshall got his start in music photography in the Bay Area’s vibrant Jazz and Blues scenes and began producing album cover photography as early as 1959. Within a few short years Jim’s photos had appeared on album covers for such greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and Wes Montgomery.

This image of Janis Joplin was featured on the album cover of "Janis" (1975)

This image of Janis Joplin was featured on the album cover of “Janis” (1975)

“By the time Rock & Roll gained prominence in the San Francisco music culture, he was already a well established photographer and in demand. His photos soon appeared on the album sleeves of The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Johnny Cash and many others. Though he is best-known for his exceptional performance shots and unfettered backstage access photos that appeared countless times in publications like Rolling Stone and Life Magazine, he is responsible for over five hundred album sleeve photographs to date.

“Sadly, all three of these great photographers have passed away, and their legacies remain vibrant and further elevated through the hard work and devotion of the strong women they left behind.

The Grateful Dead

This image of Jerry Garcia was featured as the album cover for the Grateful Dead’s “Farewell to Winterland” (1979)

“Their album cover images continue to be sought-after and acquired by photography collectors and fans around the world. Original album cover art, and related outtakes, have become some of the most popular and collectible fine art in today’s global marketplace. The images are beloved by fans who appreciate not only the music it once accompanied, but also the cultural movement this iconic work represents.

“Three incredible women were left to manage these archives, each of whom supported these artists during their lives, and have subsequently worked to preserve their photographic legacies. Please join us here at our opening event to meet the determined women behind the Brodsky, Feinstein and Marshall estates and to celebrate the lives and incredible contributions of these great artists, and the history of a lost art!”

Johnny_Cash_At_Folsom_PrisonHendrix_in_the_westJanis_1975_albumil_fullxfull.294455540To view some of the images featured in the SFAE show and available online, click this link.

And to learn a bit more about Jim’s early album cover shoots as well as his personal album collection, check out “From Jim’s Personal Album Collection: The Early Covers”.

Hope to see you at the opening!

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