The Cover Sells the Book: Transformations in Commercial Book Publishing, 1860-1920

Exhibition Website

Jun 3 2017 - Aug 27 2017

Delaware Art Museum

Wilmington, DE

This exhibition will investigate the trans-Atlantic concept of the ‘complete book,’ which took place between 1860 and 1910. During this 50-year period, the conflation of advances in print technology and the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts Movement led to a new aesthetic in book design. The integration of the book from content to cover as promoted by private press initiatives including William Morris’ Kelmscott Press was adapted by commercial publishers, “to put a touch of art on this thing that is going to be produced at a level price,” as described by American book binding designer Sarah Wyman Whitman. This exhibition will explore examples of collaborative commercial book projects, which emulate the “book beautiful” concept of earlier arts and crafts principles.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Works on Paper
  • International
  • 19th Century
  • Various artists

Exhibition Venues & Dates