This object is currently resting in our storage facility. See our image rights statement.


See more objects with the tag graphic design, literature, book, book designers, storytelling, focus.

See more objects with the color firebrick lightgrey wheat rosybrown darkslategrey or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • We acquired this object.




Book Cover, Siddhartha, 1951

This is a book cover. It was written by Hermann Hesse and graphic design by Alvin Lustig and published by New Directions Books. It is dated 1951 and we acquired it in 2001. Its medium is offset lithograph on thin glossed paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Functioning like a small poster, a book cover must quickly capture a viewer’s attention and provoke curiosity about the content within, contributing an enduring element to the reader’s experience. The covers designed by Alvin Lustig in the 1940s and 1950s employ abstracted iconography and simple typography and lettering to create emotionally compelling representations of a book’s themes. Lustig, who died at 40, is remembered as one of America’s greatest modern designers.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled River Glimmered.

This object was donated by Susan Lustig Peck. It is credited Gift of Susan Lustig Peck.

Its dimensions are

18.4 x 17.5 cm (7 1/4 x 6 7/8 in. )

It is signed

Signature printed, lower right: lustig.

Cite this object as

Book Cover, Siddhartha, 1951. offset lithograph on thin glossed paper. Gift of Susan Lustig Peck. 2001-29-25.

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition How Posters Work.

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Book Cover, Siddhartha, 1951 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=1 December 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

If you would like to tell us more about an object or have found an error in an object record, please let us know!