Illustrator David Stone Martin (1913-1992) was one of the most prolific and influential graphic designers of the postwar era, creating over 400 album covers.
Born David Livingstone Martin in Chicago, he later studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and began his career as an assistant to the social realist painter Ben Shahn, designing murals during the 1933 World’s Fair.
Martin spent the remainder of the decade as art director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and served during World War II as an artist/correspondent for Life magazine.
After returning to the U.S. he mounted a career as a freelance artist; in 1948, he also began teaching at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art, followed in 1950 by a year at New York City’s Workshop School of Advertising and Editorial Art.
Martin entered music illustration through his longtime friendship with producer Norman Granz, designing hundreds of now-classic cover paintings for acts including Count Basie, Art Tatum, Gene Krupa, and Lionel Hampton.
Martin’s work has exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and others.
More of David Stone Martin’s magnificent album covers can be found at http://www.birkajazz.com/archive/stonemartin.htm