Off the Record: album sleeve art 1950-2000

Rupert Dickens

Wednesday 17th November 2021

Off the record

Some of the most iconic images of the 20th century were created, not for galleries or private patrons, but for record sleeves. The zebra crossing immortalised on the cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road is the site of a pilgrimage for people traveling thousands of miles to recreate this famous scene. Album covers have been adorned by Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Yoko Ono, Richard Hamilton and a host of lesser-known artists and designers. We will explore the art of the album cover and reveal the close connections between visual and musical creativity in this vibrant period of popular culture.


Rupert Dickens is an art historian based in south London with a special interest in Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th century painting. He works at the Wallace Collection as a guide conducting public and private tours and lecturing on aspects of the collection. Rupert is also a tour director for a Cambridge-based company accompanying groups on art-themed tours to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria and Italy. He has lectured to large audiences on subjects as diverse as the game of chess in art and Madame de Pompadour’s artistic patronage in 18th century France. He studied art history at Birkbeck College before undertaking a Masters in Dutch Golden Age Studies at University College London. Before that Rupert had a 26-year career as a BBC journalist ending as an editor in radio news.