Flora Stora

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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Jim Flora was the man behind the covers of Columbia Records’ jazz 78 rpm records in the 1940s. As I wrote in his New York Times obituary, “Flora, a jazz fan who was working in advertising at the time, sent a proposal to Columbia, suggesting waysto improve the packaging of jazz recordings. He was hired almostimmediately and began producing ideas for covers in the company’s smallart department, quickly working his way up to being an art directorwith responsibility for jazz imagery.” Today his brute cartoon style isthe inspiration for illustrators and painters alike. His work is keptalive in large part from the efforts of musicologist and pop cultist Irwin Chusid,who has opened an online store, Little Shop of Flora’s, to sell books,calendars, and note cards featuring Flora’s work. With the holidays andthe economic downturn fast upon us, here are some lovely, low-priced gift ideas for Flora fans and wannabes, as well as some slightly higher priced prints (below).