Warhol On Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949-1987+ Opens at Cranbrook Art Museum

Press Releases
Warhol on Vinyl

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., May 28, 2014 – Cranbrook Art Museum announces the opening of six new exhibitions that will debut with a weekend of celebration on June 20-22.

Beginning with the opening of Warhol On Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949-1987+, the Museum will exhibit nearly 100 album covers, including variations of more than 50 unique designs by Andy Warhol throughout his career. Featured in the exhibitions will be the world-premiere of three album covers that have never before been exhibited, including a cover recently discovered last year. Cranbrook has also been loaned a copy of the one-of-a-kind “Night Beat” album cover, making this the most comprehensive exhibition of authenticated record covers to date. See every cover Warhol designed, from the iconic Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers to the extremely rare Giant Size $1.57 Each, his first Pop Art record cover.

The sculptural furniture of designer/craftsman and former Cranbrook Academy of Art student Paul Evans will be on display in Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism. And the multifunctional furniture and architectural units of Ken Isaacs will be showcased in Culture Breakers: The Living Structures of Ken Isaacs.

Follow the history of Cranbrook in film in Cranbrook Goes to the Movies: Films and Their Objects, 1925-1975, and study the lighter side of Cranbrook’s history in Ephemera: Fragments from Cranbrook’s Social Life.

And finally, explore Modernism through the contemporary works of Amie Siegel’s The Modernists and Terence Gower’s Ciudad Moderna.

“Cranbrook is widely recognized as the ‘cradle of Modernism,’ a history that we have reflected in our two most recent summer exhibitions, George Nelson: Architect | Writer | Designer | Teacher and Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America,” says Gregory Wittkopp, Director of Cranbrook Art Museum and the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research. “This summer we are illuminating some of the lesser-known stories of mid-century Modernism, including two designers that studied or taught at Cranbrook: Paul Evans and Ken Isaacs. We will also look at Andy Warhol, who, although undeniably iconic, is not known for his designs for record covers. His story is one that can only be told here at Cranbrook. With the recent gift of this collection from Frank Edwards and Ann Williams, Cranbrook Art Museum now has the world’s most comprehensive collection of Warhol’s record covers, including several covers that have never been seen publicly.”

It all kicks off with the ArtMembers’ Opening Reception on June 20 from 6-10pm, featuring the music of NUCLASSICA and the Music Institute at Cranbrook. The exhibitions open to the public on June 21, and we’ll continue to celebrate with the PNC Bank Family Fun Celebration on June 22. See below for details about each exhibition and dates/times to join the fun. And check our website for a complete schedule of summer events.

Sunday, June 22
PNC Bank Family Fun Celebration!

Visit the Museum for a day full of music, food, and crafts as we celebrate the opening of our summer exhibitions.

11am – 5pm: Museum is open to the public.
11:30am – 4:30pm: Sugar Magnolia’s food truck will be serving sweets.
12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm: Thumbs Up! Michigan’s premier ukulele band will perform covers of Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground.
1 – 4pm: Get inspired by Warhol On Vinyl, then watch as your limited-edition Cranbrook/Warhol T-shirt is made! Academy graduate Wes Taylor will be here to operate a six-arm T-shirt press while you watch. Extra cost for the purchase of the shirt.
1pm and 3pm: Tour the Art Deco masterwork Saarinen House.
Noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm: Take an Exhibition Highlight Tour of our new shows.

Exhibition Details

Warhol On Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949-1987+
June 21, 2014 – March 15, 2015

The exhibition is drawn from Cranbrook Art Museum’s preeminent collection of record covers by Andy Warhol, a recent gift by Frank M. Edwards and Ann M. Williams. The album covers range from the extremely rare to the widely recognizable; together they offer a unique lens to survey the artist’s career from a young graphic designer to a cultural phenomenon. At the same time, the exhibition documents the history of the mass-produced vinyl record and the zeitgeist of these eras through the inclusion of music, video, and artworks from the Museum’s extensive Andy Warhol collection, including nine prints, which are a recent gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Listening booths in the gallery will allow viewers to play select albums, thereby producing an experience between the cover art and the music—rock, classical, opera, jazz, soul, experimental—the way Warhol intended. The exhibition also includes album covers by other musicians that have controversially appropriated Warhol’s imagery and testify to his influence on subsequent generations.

The world-premiere presentation of Warhol on Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949 – 1987+ was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Curator of Contemporary Art and Design Laura Mott. The exhibition is sponsored by the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Exhibition Fund and the Clannad Foundation.

Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism
June 21, 2014 – October 12, 2014
In a new documentary, musician Lenny Kravitz says the work of Paul Evans is, “stunningly beautiful, stunningly ugly, stunningly tacky, stunningly sophisticated.” This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of Evans’s work, documenting his role in the midcentury American studio furniture movement, his approach to furniture as sculpture and abstract composition, and his unremitting new approaches to metal.

Opening earlier this year at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and then traveling to Cranbrook Art Museum—the only other venue for the exhibition—Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism will be comprised of 68 works, spanning the artist’s entire career. It includes choice examples of Evans’s early metalwork and jewelry, collaborative pieces made by Evans and Phillip Lloyd Powell during the 1950s when they shared a studio, as well as a comprehensive selection of Evans’s studio work representing his sculpted steel; verdigris copper; copper, bronze and pewter; argenté sculpted bronze, and cityscape techniques.

The show will also include examples of Evans’s sculpture and a selection of work he produced for Directional Furniture Company. The presentation at Cranbrook Art Museum will include work by Evans’s contemporaries selected from Cranbrook’s permanent collection, including the celebrated Shuey Collection, placing his pioneering designs for furniture with the context of concurrent trends in midcentury art and design. Evans studied Metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1952 and 1953, working with Artist-in-Residence Richard Thomas.

Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism was organized by the James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and curated by Constance Kimmerle. The presentation at Cranbrook is supported, in part, by the David Klein and Kathryn Ostrove Exhibition Fund.

Culture Breakers: The Living Structures of Ken Isaacs
June 21 – October 5, 2014

Former Cranbrook Academy of Art student and instructor Ken Isaacs radically deconstructed conventional notions of modernism. His Living Structures—hand-made, low-cost, multifunctional furniture and architectural units—challenged ideas of how people could sit, work, and live within their own homes and the broader built environment.

Culture Breakers: The Living Structures of Ken Isaacs highlights Isaacs’s time in the 1950s at Cranbrook as both student and head of the Design Department, his experimentations as an educator with environmental learning, and his role within the countercultural community of the 1960s and 1970s, when he gained wider recognition for his populist approach to design.

Featuring works on paper, photographs, film, architectural models, and several reproduced Living Structures—this exhibition examines Isaacs’s role as a nonconformist who created simple, economical, functional systems of living that could be built by anyone. By spreading his designs through mass-instruction instead of mass-production, Isaacs encouraged a do-it-yourself outlook that empowered consumers through the act of making.

Organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Shelley Selim, Cranbrook Art Museum’s 2013-2015 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow.

Modern / Moderna: Amie Siegel and Terence Gower
June 21 – August 31, 2014

Modern/Moderna explores the societal and cultural trends of Modernism through two contemporary artworks. Amie Siegel’s The Modernists is a reassembled personal archive of found travel photographs and film footage of an unknown couple during the 1960s-1980s; it examines the domestic camera’s gendered relationship to sculpture, fashion, and our private/public selves. Terence Gower’s Ciudad Moderna, uses the popular 1966 Mexican film Despedida de Casada as source material of the contemporary city and re-edits the film to feature the architecture as the protagonist.

Organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Curator of Contemporary Art and Design Laura Mott.

Cranbrook Goes to the Movies: Films and Their Objects, 1925-1975
June 21, 2014 – November 30, 2014

Cranbrook and the camera grew up together. In the 1920s, as George and Ellen Booth were realizing their dream of a community dedicated to art, science, and education, amateur filmmaking flourished as a newly affordable hobby. These two historical trajectories intersect in Cranbrook Goes to the Movies.

The vintage films featured in this exhibition bring the diverse history of Cranbrook’s campus alive in a way never before experienced; through the actual people and objects that populated it. Cranbrook Goes to the Movies gives physical presence to the vintage films that document life at Cranbrook and places some of Cranbrook’s treasures in their historical context. An immersive experience, Cranbrook Goes to the Movies provides an avenue into Cranbrook’s past built not on dry text and static images but on the vitality and movements of the people who lived it.

Cranbrook Goes to the Movies: Films and Their Objects, 1925-1975 is organized by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and curated by the Center’s 2012-2014 Collections Fellow Shoshana Resnikoff. The Center, which includes Cranbrook Archives, is supported, in part, by its Charter Patrons, the Towbes Foundation of Santa Barbara, California, and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

Ephemera: Fragments from Cranbrook’s Social Life
April 22, 2014 – September 28, 2014

Often referred to as the transient evidence of everyday life, ephemera spans the entire range of printing and social history. Because the Cranbrook Archives’ collection of ephemera is so rich and varied, this exhibition focuses on ephemera that illustrates Cranbrook’s social life during the 20th century.

Ranging from printed matter for theatrical productions, family and alumni reunions, school athletic events, and more, these documents present a visually compelling story of the way in which the Cranbrook community has represented its preoccupations, cultural perceptions, and identity over the past century. This is the first of several exhibitions that will feature ephemera from the collections of the Cranbrook Archives.

Ephemera: Fragments that Document Cranbrook’s Social Life was organized by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and curated by Head Archivist Leslie S. Edwards. The Center, which includes Cranbrook Archives, is supported, in part, by its Charter Patrons, the Towbes Foundation of Santa Barbara, California, and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

Posted In: Press Releases, Warhol on Vinyl

Media Inquiries:
Julie Fracker
Director of Communications
Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum