Suitable for Framing

The album cover as we know it dates to 1938, when Columbia Records art director Alex Steinweiss thought audiences might be more willing to buy records if there was a visual element to draw them in, rather than just the previously used plain-brown wrapper.

Since then, the square format has attracted the talents of Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, R. Crumb, Richard Avedon, and Robert Mapplethorpe, to name a few.

That’s good news for audiophiles who also have bare walls. Album covers — as accessible as the basement vinyl stash or on eBay — make for appealing interior art. Prices on eBay range from less than $5 to more than $1,000. Just add frames.

Photos – copyright: courtesy of Alex Steinweiss