- Full Description
This is a ground-breaking study of one of America's leading designers of nineteenth-century publishers' highly decorated bookbindings.This fully illustrated volume documents the life and work of Alice C. Morse. Her work will be familiar to admirers of artist-designed publishers' bindings of the period 1890-1910. She came to prominence when a small group of exceptional American publishers began to commission artist-designers (including Sarah Wyman Whitman and Margaret Armstrong , also examined here), to create book covers.
Includes a complete look at these two better-known designers and others, as part of an excellent overall examination of this fascinating era in book cover design.
I wasn't familar with Morse's name, but as soon as I saw some of the images here, I recognized them as covers of many books I've collected, such as titles illustrated inside by Howard Pyle, Joseph Pennell and others! Unlike the better known Margaret Armstrong, Morse didn't sign many of her bindings or carefully hid her initials in the artwork. She was a pioneer in the movement which resulted in Armstrong's and others' success, among them the also-brilliant Sarah Wyman Whitman, and the studio known as the Decorative Designers.
This documents all of Morse's work, and reveals her original studies and cover artwork, a long-lost gift made to the museum. This is published by the Grolier Club, who are known for not only beautiful production of their books, but who specialize in bringing to light new aspects of the history of books and their design. This is all about the Aesthetic and the Arts and Crafts movement, specifically as it manifested itself in the world of hardcover trade bindings.
Before dust jacket wrappers came along to sell the book, this was the first effort by innovative publishers to differentiate their books with well-designed covers, sometimes abstract, but other times directly related to the contents with pictorial illustrations embossed in gilt and multiple colors on cloth and leather bindings.
Included is a biography of Morse by Grolier Club member Mindell Dubansky and two essays on her work and influence by scholars in the field of nineteenth-century decorative arts, followed by a comprehensive and lavishly illustrated survey of all the known works of Morse's, drawn from the personal collection of Mindell Dubansky and from the resources of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Alice C. Morse (1863-1961) was a prolific and versatile designer during the heyday of the American Decorative Arts Movement.
The Grolier Club exhibition marked the first time since 1923 that Morse's work was displayed to the public; and this present volume is the first to collect all of Morse's book design work, as well as literary posters and other ephemeral materials relating to her work.
- Additional Information
Item Code PRODE Publisher Grolier Club Publish Date 2016 ISBN 9780910672740 Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 9x12 # Pages 108pg Color Text/Full Color