Installation Views

The exhibition Seeing the World of Sound was installed in the Fine Arts Building (FAB) Gallery at the University of Alberta, a two-story space of approximately 955 square meters. Album covers were displayed on walls, each with a caption indicating Folkways catalogue number, year of release, cover designer, illustrator, photographer and a brief description of the significance of the cover image.

 
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Thematic divisions were separated within the space and described on didactic panels. Audio players were discretely located in each thematic area providing Folkways sound samples related to the theme.

 
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A video monitor on one wall provided a digital slide show of the complete Folkways catalogue, from the beginning to the present, in random order. At about 6 seconds per slide, it would take nearly 4 hours to see them all!

 
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Display Cases: Archival and Related Materials

In addition to the album covers, archival materials were provided by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and included in display cases throughout the exhibition.

 
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When the Smithsonian Institution acquired Folkways Records in 1987, it also received a vast store of audio and visual production materials for each individual LP cover. The visual materials, stored in oversized envelopes known as job bags, included original art, design, text and other material pertaining to the production of the LP cover and/or liner notes.

 
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Some bags hold a completed assembly of artwork and copy, typically mounted on a sheet of stiff paper, while others contain camera-ready copy including original art, photographs and liner notes. Many of the bags include copies of the ‘record slick’ – a pre-printed cover label that was attached to the plain black record jacket.

 
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