The years 1860–1920 witnessed sweeping changes in book design, inspired by technological developments, marketing strategies, and shifting ideas about art. This exhibition will explore examples of collaborative commercial book projects, which emulate the attractive layouts and decorative bindings of private presses, and the growth of a literate public on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2009, Mary G. Sawyer gifted more than 3,000 books that represent this unique moment in history to Delaware Art Museum’s Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives. This incredible collection, coupled with the Museum’s strong holdings in books and its renowned Pre-Raphaelite collection, inspired the summer 2017 exhibition.
The Cover Sells the Book: Transformations in Commercial Book Publishing, 1860–1920 was organized by the Delaware Art Museum.
Image: Miss Träumerei, 1895, Advertising poster for the novel Miss Träumerei: A Weimar Idyl, by Albert Morris Bagby (Boston: Lamson, Wolffe & Co., 1895). Ethel Reed (1874–1912). Three-color commercial lithograph, 20 1/2 × 15 3/8 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Gift of David and Lucinda Pollack, 2015.