We Too Are The People. Pictorial Covers: An exhibition of American Book Jackets, 1920-1950.

Pictorial Covers:
An Exhibition of American Book Jackets, 1920-1950

January 17 – February 17, 1997
Bienes Center for the Literary Arts
The Dianne and Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library
Broward County Main Library
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Index of Artists
Selected Bibliography

This exhibit was made possible by the generous support of the Broward Public Library Foundation.
On the Cover: Detail from book jacket art by Harry W. Armstrong, [8] We Too Are The People.

1997. The Bienes Center for the Literary Arts: The Dianne and Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library, Broward County Library, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Brief History of the Book Jacket

The anticipation of opening a book and securing the key to the literary musings and other knowledge contained therein is perhaps one of the most satisfying emotions a reader can experience. Indeed, since the dawn of book making, bibliophiles have eagerly contemplated the unwrapping of newly-acquired volumes. Often, the very first step in the process of discovery is the book jacket itself, which is commonly defined as a "loose cover for a book, usually made of paper and often decorated with a printed design, which functions as a protection for the binding and as a means of identifying and selling the book." (Dictionary of art, v. 4, p. 368- 369). It offers the anxious reader a glimpse of wonders to come.

Book jackets are thought to have been introduced as protective packaging for cloth bound covers that publishers began using in the 1820s, but they have probably existed since paper was first used to produce books. Before the 1820s, books were bound in materials such as vellum or calf that provided a durable casing not requiring an additional paper covering. Little regard was given to using jackets for advertising until much later. Because they were meant to be discarded, very few early jackets have survived and even fewer have survived in good condition. Historians believe that "the earliest known printed detachable paper covering for a book (illustrated by a photograph) is for The Keepsake, published by Longmans [London] in 1832." (?Book- Jackets, Blurbs, and Bibliographers,' The Library, 5th ser. v. xxvi, #2, June 1971, p. 97).

For approximately the next sixty years the art of book jacket design changed very little. In the United States, "the first known pictorial dust jacket [as distinguished from typographical jackets] . . . was wrapped around William Dean Howell's The Shadow of a Dream, published in New York in 1890 . . ." (History of book publishing in the United States, v.2, The Expansion of an industry, 1865-1919, p. 657).

During the first two decades of the 20th century, book covers were frequently decorated with stamped floral or scroll designs. Often a protective paper covering with a circle cut out to show the author and title was wrapped around the book before distribution. The design and use of book jackets began to evolve gradually as advertisers and publishers realized that "the object of a clamorous jacket is to attract the attention of prospective purchasers of the book as it lies in the window or on the counter." (Publishers Weekly, Sept. 14, 1912, p. 715). Two other innovations occurred early in the century: printing on the flaps and the use of blurbs.

It was not until the 1920s, however, that the modern book jacket became a staple of the publishing world as we know it today. As the American population became more affluent and literate, the fierce competition among publishers for their dollars spawned an explosion of colorful and bold jacket designs that has yet to abate. ". . . in the twenties, . . . a generation of designers emerged to spread the gospel of excellence in bookmaking. For some time, most publishers were unbelievers, but once they understood the prestige and potential sales that could result from making a book look well in all its parts, including, of course, the jackets, the retail shops and their show windows took on a brighter appearance." (A History of book publishing in the United States, v. IV, The Great change, 1940-1980, p. 440.

Pictorial Covers

The exhibition is arranged in three sections: Fiction, Floridiana, and Non-Fiction. The eighty-two jackets on exhibit represent a small selection of the key works of American book jacket design from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Most of the great designers of the era are represented, including Merle Armitage, Boris Artzybasheff, John O'Hara Cosgrave, II, W.A. Dwiggins, Arthur Hawkins, Jr., E. McKnight Kauffer, Rockwell Kent, Alvin Lustig, Paul Rand, George Salter, and Lynn Ward. With the mounting of this exhibition, it is the Bienes Center's desire that the public better understand and appreciate the enormous contribution these great designers have made to the art of American publishing and book jacket design.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller, Ft. Lauderdale, for helping to select and for loaning many of the key book jackets included in the exhibition. Special thanks also to Pedro Figueredo, Assistant Librarian at The Wolfsonian, for using precious time to facilitate the loan of jackets from the library's collections, and to Jean Trebbi and Shirley Gibson, employees of Broward County Main Library, and Arthur and Mata Jaffe for loaning pieces from their private collections. Kudos also to the Broward Public Library Foundation, Inc., for its continued support.

Lenders to the Exhibit

Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller
The Mitchell Wolfson Jr. Collection, The Wolfsonian, Miami Beach, Florida
Jean Trebbi
Shirley Gibson
Arthur & Mata Jaffe
James A. Findlay
Bienes Center for the Literary Arts: The Dianne and Michael Bienes Special Collections and Rare Book Library

Exhibition Checklist
[FICTION] 1920s

[1]
des Rosiers
The Coming of Amos.

Locke, William J.
New York : Dodd, Mead, 1924.
370 p. : 19 x 14 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[2]
Kauffer, E. McKnight, 1890-1954
The Clio.

Myers, L.H.
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1925.
257 p. : 20 x 13 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : PZ 3.M99)

[3]
Lozowick, Louis, 1892-1973
Wedding.

Levy, Melvin P.
New York : Unicorn Press, 1927.
197 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : PS 3532.E8417W4)

[4]
Unknown
The Cardinal's mistress.

Mussolini, Benito
New York : Albert & Charles Boni, 1928.
232 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : PQ 4829.U85C552)

[5]
Wilcox, A., Jr.
The Wonder stick.

Coblentz, Stanton A.
New York : Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1929.
309 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
Illustrated by S. Glanckoff.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[6]
Unknown
Dynamo.

O'Neill, Eugene
New York : Horace Liveright, 1929.
159 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[7]
Macintosh, Frank
The Day of the brown horde.

Tooker, Richard
New York : Payson & Clark, 1929.
309 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

1930s

Mothers cry.
[8]
Unknown
Mothers cry.

Carlisle, Helen Grace
New York : Grosset & Dunlap, 1930.
267 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
("A First National and Vitaphone Production" — cover)
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[9]
Unknown
Gallows' orchard.

Spencer, Claire
New York : Johathan Cape & Harrison Smith, 1930.
285 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : R FIC SPENCER)

[10]
Fiene, Ernst, 1894-1966
Work of art.
1st ed.
Lewis, Sinclair
Garden City, NY : Doubleday, Doran, 1934.
452 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[11]
Baldridge, [Cyrus] LeRoy, 1889
Black God : a story of the Congo.

Manners-Sutton, D.
New York : Longmans, Green, 1934.
299 p. : 20 x 15 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[12]
Chelsea Group
The Five silver Buddhas : a mystery novel.

Keeler, Harry Stephen
New York : E.P. Dutton, 1935.
281 p. : 19 x 14 cm.
"Dutton Clue Mysteries"
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[13]
Dickinson, Stirling
Westward from Rio.

Bowman, Heath & Stirling Dickinson
Chicago : Willett, Clark, 1936.
351 p. : 23 x 16 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : F 2223.B774)

[14]
Dwiggins, W.A. (William Addison), 1880-1956
Serenade.

Cain, James M
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1937.
314 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

The Croquet player.
[15]
Salter, George, 1897-1967
The Croquet player.

Wells, H.G.
New York : Viking Press, 1937.
98 p. : 21 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[16]
Hawkins, Arthur, Jr.
Long haul.

Bezzerides, A.I.
New York : Carrick & Evans, 1938.
219 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : R FIC BEZZERIDES)

[17]
Reid, James Colbert, 1907
Action at Aquila.
1st ed.
Allen, Hervey
New York : Farrar & Rinehart, 1937.
369 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[18]
Salter, George, 1897-1967
Brighton Beach : an entertainment.

Greene, Graham
New York : Viking Press, 1938.
358 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[19]
Hader, Elmer, 1889-1973
The Grapes of wrath.

Steinbeck, John
New York : Viking Press, 1939.
619 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[20]
Kelley, George F.
Escape.
1st ed.
Vance, Ethel
Boston : Little, Brown, 1939.
428 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

1940s

[21]
Austen, John
Madame Bovary : a story of provincial life.

Flaubert, Gustave
New York : Willey Book Co., 1940.
416 p. : 23 x 16 cm.
(Lent by Shirley Gibson)

[22]
Cosgrave, John O'Hara, II, 1908-1968
Other Gods : an American legend.

Buck, Pearl S.
New York : John Day Co., 1940.
381 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[23]
Lustig, Alvin, 1915-1955
The Ghost in the underblows.

Fisher, Alfred Young
Los Angeles, CA : Ward Ritchie Press, 1940.
304 p. : 23 x 16 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : RARE PS 3511.I7295 G9 1940)

[24]
Unknown
The Black angel.
1st ed.
Woolrich, Cornell
Garden City, NY : Doubleday, Doran, 1943.
300 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
"A Crime Club Selection" — jacket.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[25]
Unknown
Jane Eyre.
1st ed.
Bronte, Charlotte
Cleveland : World Publishing Co., 1943.
408 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[26]
Jackson, P.
Colour scheme.

Marsh, Ngaio
Boston : Little, Brown, 1943.
314 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[27]
Unknown
This side of innocence.

Caldwell, Taylor
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1946.
499 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[28]
Gorsline, Douglas W., 1913
The King's General.

1st ed.
du Maurier, Daphne
Garden City, NY : Doubleday, 1946.
371 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[29]
C.R.
He ran all the way : a novel.

Ross, Sam
New York : Farrar, Straus, 1947.
294 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[30]
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917
Toward the morning.

Allen, Hervey
New York : Rinehart, 1948.
458 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[31]
Dwiggins, W.A. (William Addison), 1880-1956
The Creaking stair.

Coatsworth, Elizabeth
New York : Coward-McCann, 1949.
110 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
"With graphic comments by W.A. Dwiggins."
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : RARE PS 3505.O136)

[32]
Cosgrave, John O'Hara, II, 1908-1968
A Rage to live.
1st ed.
O'Hara, John
New York : Random House, 1949.
590 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Lent by Jean Trebbi)

[33]
Kauffer, E. McKnight, 1890-1954
The Track of the cat : a novel.

Clark, Walter van Tilburg
New York : Random House, 1949.
404 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[34]
Epstein, Judith
Red ribbon on a white horse.

Yezierska, Anzia
New York : Charles Scribner's, 1950.
220 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[35]
Salter, George, 1897-1967
See how they run.
1st ed.
Mankiewicz, Don M.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1951.
307 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[FLORIDIANA] 1920s

[36]
Unknown
Florida in the making.

Stockbridge, Frank Parker & John Holliday Perry
New York : de Bower Pub. Co., 1926.
351 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

1930s

U.S. One: Maine to Florida.
[37]
Unknown
U.S. One: Maine to Florida.

Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project and the Works Progress Administration
New York : Modern Age Books, 1938.
334 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
"American Guide Series"
(Bienes : WPA R 917.40442 FE)

[38]
Unknown
The Ocean Highway : New Brunswick, New Jersey to Jacksonville, Florida

Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration
New York : Modern Age Books, 1938.
244 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 917.5 FE)

[39]
Lerner?
The Flamingo feather.

Munroe, Kirk
New York : Grosset & Dunlap, 1938.
246 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : FLA R FIC MUNROE)

The Yearling.
[40]
Shenton, Edward, 1895
The Yearling.

Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1938.
428 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[41]
Politzer?
Florida : a guide to the Southernmost state.

Federal Writers' Project
New York : Oxford University Press, 1939.
600 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
"American Guide Series"
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[42]
2nd copy : 1939, 1956 printing.
(Bienes : WPA R 917.590462 FE)

1940s

[43]
Sorimer, Amy?
Heel dust and fans.

Shock, Buteau
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1940.
72 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[44]
Adler-Lubalin
Hurricane hush.

Havron, Laurie
New York : Greystone Press, 1941.
312 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[45]
Politzer?
A Guide to Key West.

(Florida Art Project, F. Townsend Morgan)?
Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Florida
New York : Hastings House, 1941.
122 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
"American Guide Series"
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[46]
Politzer
Planning your vacation in Florida : Miami and Dade County, including Miami Beach and Coral Gables

Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Florida
Northport, NY : Bacon, Percy & Daggett, 1941.
202 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
"American Guide Series"
(Bienes : FLA R 917.59 WR)

[47]
Camp, Robert, Jr.
Cross Creek.

Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1942.
368 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[48]
Blanding, Don, 1894-1957
Floridays.

Blanding, Don
New York : Dodd, Mead, 1945.
127 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : USFL XC1996.58)

[49]
Unknown
Florida cruise.

Hill, Norman Alan, editor
Baltimore, MD : George W. King, 1945.
430 p. : 24 x 16 cm.
"726 or 1,000 copies"
(Bienes : FLA 917.59 HI)

[NON-FICTION — POLITICS] 1920s

[50]
Unknown
Europe in zigzags : social, artistic, literary and political affairs on the continent.
1st ed.
Huddelston, Sisley
Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, 1929.
354 p. : 24 x 16 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : D 421.H5)

1930s

[51]
Gessner, Robert, 1907-1968
Upsurge.

Gessner, Robert
New York : Farrar & Rinehart, 1933.
42 p. : 23 x 16 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : RARE PS 3537.G4)

[52]
Ward, Lynn, 1905
One of us : the story of John Reed.
1st ed.
Hicks, Granville
New York : Equinox Cooperative Press, 1935.
[30] p., [30] plates : 24 x 16 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[53]
Unknown
America faces the barricades.

Spivak, John L.
New York : Covici Friede, 1935.
287 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[54]
Falk, Nat
"And so — they indicted me!" : a story of New Deal persecution.

Jones, J. Edward
New York : J. Edward Jones, 1938.
253 p. : 19 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 338.2728 JO)

We too are the people.
[55]
Armstrong, Harry W.
We too are the people.
1st ed.
Armstrong, Louise V.
Boston : Little, Brown, 1938.
474 p. : 23 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 361.6 AR)

[56]
Rowe, Guy, 1894-1969
Jobs for all through industrial expansion.
1st ed.
Ezekiel, Mordecai
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1939.
299 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 330.973 EZ)

1940s

[57]
Kauffer, E. McKnight, 1890-1954
Seven mysteries of Europe.

Romains, Jules
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1940.
253 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : PQ 2635.O522413)

[NON-FICTION — MULTICULTURALISM] 1930s

[58]
Ulmann, Doris, d. 1934
Roll, Jordan, roll.

Peterkin, Julia
New York : Robert O. Ballou, 1933.
251 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
"The Photographic Studies by Doris Ulmann"
(Lent by Arthur & Mata Jaffe)

1940s

[59]
Unknown
Drums and shadows : survival studies among Georgia Costal Negroes.

Savannah Unit, Georgia Writers' Project, Work Projects Administration
Athens, GA : University of Georgia Press, 1940.
274 p. : 24 x 16 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 305.8960730758 WR)

Legends of the mighty Sioux.
[60]
Howe, Oscar, 1915
and Sioux Indian Artists
Legends of the mighty Sioux.

Compiled by Workers of the South Dakota Writers' Project, Works Projects Administration
Chicago : Albert Whitman, 1941.
158 p. : 22 x 17 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 398.209783 WR)

[61]
Loeffler, Gisella, 1900
The Spanish-American song and game book.

Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program, Music Program, and Art Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of New Mexico
New York : A.S. Barnes, 1942.
87 p. : 23 x 20 cm.
"Text in Spanish and English"
(Bienes : WPA R 796.1308968 WR)

[62]
Cosgrave, John O'Hara, II, 1908-1968
New world a-coming' : inside Black America.

Ottley, Roi
Cleveland : World Publishing Co., 1943.
364 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 305.896 OT)

[63]
Duvernet, Roland
Gumbo Ya-Ya : a collection of Louisiana folk tales.

Compiled by Lyle Saxon.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1945.
581 p. : 23 x 16 cm.
"American Guide Series"
(Bienes : WPA R 976.3062 WR)

[64]
Unknown
Black boy : a record of childhood and youth.

Wright, Richard
New York : Harper, 1945.
228 p. : 21 x 13 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

Voodoo in New Orleans.
[65]
Unknown
Voodoo in New Orleans.

Tallant, Robert
New York : Macmillan, 1946.
247 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 299.67 TA)

[NON-FICTION — ART & CULTURE] 1930s

[66]
Lozowich, Louis, 1892-1973
The New world architecture.

Cheney, Sheldon
New York : Tudor, 1935.
404 p. : 26 x 20 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : NA 680.C5)

Bread and circus: a study of Federal Theatre.
[67]
Salter, George, 1897-1967
Bread and circus : a study of Federal Theatre.

Whitman, Willson
New York : Oxford University Press, 1937.
191 p. : 22 x 15 cm.
(Bienes : WPA R 792.0973 WH)

[68]
Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975
Designed books.

McGehee, Ramiel, editor
New York : E. Weyhe, 1938.
128 p. : 23 x 18 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : RARE Z 246.A73)

[69]
Reiss, Winold, 1886-1953
You can design.

Reiss, Winold & Albert Charles Schweizer
New York : Whittlesey House, 1939.
ca. 100 p. : 31 x 24 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : NK 1510.R33)

1940s

[70]
Rand, Paul, 1914-1996
Thoughts on design.

Rand, Paul
New York : Wittenborn, 1947.
159 p. : 27 x 23 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[71]
Elisofon, Eliot
Food is a four letter word.

Elisofon, Eliot
New York : Rinehart, 1948.
175 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[72]
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975
An artist in America.

Benton, Thomas Hart
New York : University of Kansas City Press, — Twayne Publishers, 1937; new, rev. 1951 ed.
324 p. : 24 x 17 cm.
(Lent by Robert A. Hittel, Bookseller)

[NON-FICTION — MISCELLANEOUS] 1930s

[73]
Artzybasheff, Boris, 1899-1965
Orpheus : myths of the world.
1st ed.
Colum, Padraic
New York : Macmillan, 1930.
327 p. : 28 x 19 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : BL 310.C55)

[74]
Unknown
Skyways : a book on modern aeronautics.

Mitchell, William
Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, 1930.
314 p. : 23 x 15 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian TL 545.M67)

[75]
Rudolph, Herman [S.?]
Portrait of an American.

Coffin, Robert P. Tristram
New York : Macmillan, 1931.
182 p. : 20 x 14 cm.
(Bienes : uncataloged)

[76]
Harrison, Richard E.
Alone.

Byrd, Richard E.
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1938.
296 p. : 21 x 15 cm.
(Lent by Jean Trebbi)

New York City guide.
[77]
Federal Art Project in NYC
New York City guide.

Prepared by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration in New York City
New York : Random House, 1939.
708 p. : 21 x 14 cm.
"American Guide Series"
(Bienes : uncataloged)

1940s

[78]
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971
Men and volts : the story of General Electric.

Hammond, John Winthrop
New York : J.B. Lippincott, 1941.
436 p. : 23 x 16 cm.
(Lent by The Wolfsonian : TK 451.G3H3)

[79]
Lufkin, Raymond
Copper Camp : stories of the world's greatest mining town, Butte, Montana.
1st ed.
Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration