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David Stone Martin

David Stone Martin, ca. April 1947, photo by William P. Gottlieb.

David Stone Martin, born David Livingstone Martin (June 13, 1913 – March 1, 1992 in New London, Connecticut)[1] was an American artist best known for his illustrations on jazz record albums.[2][3]


David Stone Martin was born June 13, 1913, in Chicago and attended evening classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was greatly influenced by the line art of Ben Shahn. By 1950, Martin had produced more than 100 covers for Mercury, Asch, Disc and Dial record albums. Many assignments came from his longtime friend, record producer Norman Granz.[4]

For various companies, Martin eventually created illustrations for more than 400 record albums. Many of these were simply line art combined with a single color. Martin's favorite tool was a crowquill pen which enabled him to do delicate line work. CBS-TV art director William Golden gave Martin many print ad assignments during the 1950s, and Martin soon expanded into illustration for Seventeen, The Saturday Evening Post and other slick magazines of the 1950s and 1960s.[4] His studio was located in Roosevelt, New Jersey, near his home there.[4][5]

Martin is represented in the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution.

Martin was the husband of muralist Thelma Martin, who painted the post office mural for the facility in Sweetwater, Tennessee.[6] He was the father of graphic artist Stefan Martin (born 1936) and painter Tony Martin.[3] He died March 1, 1992, in New London, Connecticut,[3] where he had lived in his old age.

Notable album coversEdit

Verve cover illustration of Billie Holiday by David Stone Martin

Time magazine coversEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Detailed biographical information is spread throughout the book White Collar Radicals by Aaron D. Purcell, University of Tennessee Press 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Obituary by Bruce Lambert, The New York Times, March 8, 1992.
  4. ^ a b c Peng, Leif. Today's Inspiration, October 2008.
  5. ^ Staff. "History Of Roosevelt, New Jersey", Rutgers University Libraries. Accessed February 14, 2011.
  6. ^ Hull, Howard (1996). Tennessee Post Office Murals. Johnson City, Tennessee: The Overmountain Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-57072-030-7.
  7. ^ AllMusic: The Tal Farlow Album

External linksEdit