Bob Seidemann
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Bob Seidemann

Bob Seidemann (December 28, 1941 - November 27, 2017 [1]) was an American graphic artist and photographer best known for the creation of several album covers and portraits of musicians in the 1960s and 1970s.

Seidemann was born in Manhattan, New York and grew up in Queens. He graduated from Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades, before heading west to San Francisco.

Seidemann first gained notoriety in 1967 for a photographic interpretation of the Pietà. He reversed the traditional subjects, depicting a mourning male cradling the body of a nude female, with a graphic combination of sexuality and violence.

In 1969, Eric Clapton formed a new band and Seidemann was commissioned to create the cover for their album. Seidemann photographed a nude 11-year-old girl to create what would become his most famous and controversial work, titled "Blind Faith". Not only did it become the cover and title of the album, but the band as well.

Although unpublished until her death, Seidemann's 1967 portraits of a semi-nude Janis Joplin earned him wide acclaim. In fact, a Baron Wolman photo of Joplin used a number of the earlier Seidemann portraits as a backdrop. Seidemann also photographed The Grateful Dead a number of times during their peak, both for posters and album liners, as well as designing the covers for Go to Heaven and Jerry Garcia's debut solo album, Garcia. Other works include the cover of Jackson Browne's Late for the Sky, Neil Young's On the Beach, and numerous concert posters for bands such as Traffic and Big Brother and the Holding Company.

From the late 1980s through the 1990s, Seidemann took a series of 302 aviation-themed photographs entitled "The Airplane as Art". The collection sold at Sotheby's on October 12, 2000, for $236,750.[2]

His 1969 "Blind Faith" flush-mounted and signed chromogenic photo print, editioned (17/30), sold at Sotheby's New York 24 June 2014 (lot 20) at $17,500 (with buyer's premium)[3]


  1. ^ Smith, Harrison, "Bob Seidemann, photographer of Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, dies at 75," Washington Post, Washington, D.C., published 12/12/17 at 18:15 EDST.[1]
  2. ^ Caroline Krockow. "Art Market Watch". 
  3. ^ Sotheby's New York. "Rock n' Roll History: Presley to Punk". Sotheby's. Retrieved 2014. 

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