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American bookbindings and posters of the 1890s



This message is being posted to BOOK-ARTS_L, EXLIBRIS, AND SHARP- L.

Those interested in American bookbindings of the turn of the 19th
century will want to examine an article (which they might not otherwise
encounter) in the November issue of _The Magazine Antiques_.  The
article is "The Poster at the Turn of the Century," by Frederick R.
Brandt, 675-81.  It treats "the short-lived but overwhelming
proliferation of posters, magazines, and books in America during the
1890's," specifically the posters that "into the streets went ...
primarily to advertise magazines and books."  The fully illustrated
article illustrates several bookbindings, emphasizing the integration,
or not, of the design of the posters that advertised the books the with 
the design of the bindings.  Shown are bindings designed by such
well-known artists as Maurice Prendergast and Will Bradley as well as
bindings designed by such lesser-known artists as E. B. Bird and Ethel
Reed.  

The article heralds an exhibition organized at the Virginia
Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, entitled "Designed to Sell: Turn-
of-the-Century American Posters," which according to museum
publicity "Documents the `golden age' of poster design in Ameri-
ca, ca. 1894-1905.  It demonstrates how the art poster, designed
as a marketing tool, had a great impact on graphic design,
printing and the aesthetic tastes of mass audiences."  The
exhibition can be seen at the museum in Richmond, November 8-
January 8, and then it travels (unfortunately only within Virgin-
ia) to Abingdon, March 11-May 15, 1995, and to Randolph-Macon
College, Lynchburg, Oct. 22-Dec. 10, 1995.  A catalogue of the
exhibition is available for $30.00 (softcover) from the VMFA,
2800 Grove Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221-2466.

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        Donald Farren                          voice 301.951.9479
        email p00244@psilink.com               fax 301.951.9479
                  4009 Bradley Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
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