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16th March 2019 – 2nd June 2019

The Art of Selling Songs

Music Graphics from the V&A

In this touring exhibition from the V&A, material from the museum’s collection of music graphics explores how this artform has change and evolved from the 19th century to the early 21st century.

Trends in visual culture, graphic design and consumerism dovetail within the world of popular music marketing.

Key changes in music formats are highlighted from the late 19th century phonographic music cylinder – the first portable music format to digital music formats of the 21st century.  In between are 1920s discs made from rubber, shellac and minerals; vinyl records which emerged after WW2; the introduction of cassettes in the 1960s and CDs in the 1980s.

The development of printing techniques and story of how different artists and music genres wished to portray their personas is an integral part of the exhibition including classical, jazz, rock and roll, pop, psychedelia, punk, electronica and avant-garde.

Concert tickets, programmes, posters and album covers reflect changes in printing methods, design trends and how a particular performer wished to portray their persona.

A wealth of designers from the period are represented, including Henri Gabriel Ibels, Reginald Mount,  Andy Warhol, Albert Watson, Peter Saville and Julien Opie.

 

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