Warhol's jazz covers


Whoa, I had no idea. Great stuff.

I think my parents had the Artie Shaw. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

Commercial artists of the 1950’s owed a lot to painter Ben Shahn’s work from the '30’s and 40’s.

Was the Count Basie album supposed to still kinda look like a face when turned upside down? Or was that an accident? I’m not into Basie or Warhol: so I honestly don’t know. I tried Google but nothing obvious came up…

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I think you made a real discovery! After reading your post I did some research into the Count Basie album cover and have found no mention of the hidden image. I’m sure Warhol knew what he was doing when he drew the Basie portrait. You have a great eye! Warhol’s album covers have been shown in museum exhibits and I have yet to see a mention of the upside down portrait. Geeze, you could have written a thesis for your art history degree with that. It would be good to compare the photo Warhol used to his drawing.

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For real? I Googled some photos of Basie and at around the time of that album but I couldn’t find any photos of him with a wrinkly forehead at all (it’s actually quite smooth in a 1955 pic: he was 51 at the time. My forehead is much wrinklier than his and I’m younger haha.) But I find it hard to believe no one has sat around blowing reefer with jazz albums strewn on their floor in the last almost-60 years and not seen this album cover upside down and thought “Bwah ha ha! There’s a face!” It just seems so unlikely. But oh well. Cool! :smile:


wow. these are gold. I wish I was hip to these back in my crate-digging days, but honestly I don’t think I’ve ever run across these, since if I had, I would have bought them anyway strictly for the music.

@rattypilgrim, @JeanBaptiste interestiung if true. it sure looks like a face, anyhow.

The Kenny Burrell cover looks to be Warhol’s tribute to a common Matisse style of line drawing of women, for example Sleeping Model. Matisse did dozens of these, they’re fantastic. The line of the nose becoming an eyebrow is a standard element of his.


If anyone would like to see more of Andy’s remarkable commercial work, I strongly recommend finding a copy of the book Pre-Pop Warhol.

It’s a really wonderful book full of large reproductions of his early commercial illustration work.

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