This exhibition features album covers by Irish musicians printed and designed in Ireland from the 1950s onwards. It includes examples from a broad range of musical genres – classical, traditional, show band, pop, jazz, rock and punk, as well as cultural, educational and religious records. It also examines aspects of Irish cultural, social and political identity promoted or projected through these albums. A section of the exhibition considers depiction of Ireland on albums produced abroad as well as a sampling of albums produced by Irish artists and musicians who left Ireland and went to the UK or US.
The primary focus traces the development of an industry, which saw print companies devoted to printing album covers. This industry flourished for two decades before declining in parallel with the vinyl record. The exhibition considers who was involved in the process of producing and distributing these materials. In addition, the recollections of individual printers, designers, musicians and others involved in the area offer further insight.
The material on display is primarily album covers, but also includes singles, Eps, gig tickets, music magazines, posters and other ephemera. Central to the exhibition is an explanation of the design, print, production and finishing processes – including an example of original print block along with the finished record sleeve and a number of other similar artefacts.
Green Sleeves is curated by Dr Ciaran Swan and Niall McCormack.
Exhibition runs from 5 May until 1 October 2017.