DISPATCH - OCT 26, 2012 (8:30 a.m.)


The days when records spun on turntables will return when an exhibition of Columbia Records album covers opens at Guild Hall Museum on Saturday. On displayed will be around 95 album covers spanning from the sixties to eighties. The covers all have one thing in common--the artwork was directed by John Berg.

Berg spent 25 years as an art director for Columbia Records. While there, he was responsible for developing the overall design for some of music's biggest stars (or soon to be stars), said Christina Mossaides Strassfield, Guild Hall's museum director and chief curator. They include Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Simon and Garfunkel, Chicago, Bessie Smith, Blood, Sweat &Tears and more.


Blood, Sweat & Tears "Mirror Image" Art Direction by John Berg, 1974.


Berg was nominated for 29 Grammys and won four of them. During his career, he designed 5,000 record covers. He was also a vice president for Columbia Records. As art director, he decided whether the album concept would be represented visually through photography, painting, illustration, stock photos, drawing, graphic design, the type of typography and more, said Strassfield.

"It's so innovative," said Strassfield. "He decided how the album would be represented. In some cases, you might remember the album cover more than the music."


Bessie Smith "Any Woman's Blues" Art Direction by John Berg. Photography by Durell Godfrey.


"John Berg" is one of four exhibitions opening on Saturday at Guild Hall. Also opening are “Fritz Leddy, Part II” in the Moran Gallery; “Frank Wimberley: Winner of the 2010 Annual Guild Hall Artist Member Exhibition” in the Spiga Gallery and “Abstraction: Selections from the Guild Hall Museum Permanent Collection." All of the exhibition openings take place from 5 to 7 p.m.


"Blue Oyster Cult" Art Direction and photography by John Berg.


BASIC FACTS: "John Berg," “Fritz Leddy, Part II,” “Frank Wimberley: Winner of the 2010 Annual Guild Hall Artist Member Exhibition” and “Abstraction: Selections from the Guild Hall Museum Permanent Collection" have an opening reception on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. All four shows remain on view through Jan 6, 2013. The "John Berg" exhibition has been extended through Feb 24, 2013.

John Berg will give a Gallery Talk on Saturday, Nov 17, at 11 a.m. at Guild Hall Museum.

The museum is located at 158 Main St, East Hampton, NY 11937.  www.guildhall.org.


© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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