Introduction

From 1948 to 1986, Folkways Records produced over 2000 recordings of remarkable breadth and diversity. This virtual exhibition presents the look of Folkways through an exploration of the cover art and design of this extraordinary recording company.

The Exhibition

Through words and images the history and importance of Folkways cover art emerges. Over 200 album covers are displayed representing a vast range of artistic styles and genres. Through a series of galleries, representing the key sections and themes of the Folkways catalogue, the relationship between the cover art and the recorded sound is explored. As you move through the galleries, clicking on the thumbnail images will reveal individual album credits and commentary. Audio samples from the featured albums can be heard and original record liner notes may be downloaded.

The Back Story

Folkways Records is inextricably linked to its founder and director, Moses Asch. His exceptional story is presented in the first part of The Back Story. The second part presents background on the real place and time exhibition, Seeing the World of Sound: The Cover Art of Folkways Records. This exhibition, which took place in the FAB Gallery at the University of Alberta in 2005, represented the first in depth look at Folkways cover art. It serves as the basis for this virtual exhibition.