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What is this?

Book cover with undulating colored lines surrounding black oval-like shape at upper right with book title printed at center. Printed in white ink, front cover right center: SIDDHARTHA; printed in black ink, lower left: HERMANN HESSE. Printed vertically in black ink, side cover: SIDDHARTHA; printed horizontally in black ink, lower center: NC 34. Printed vertically in white ink, side cover: HERMANN HESSE.

Why is this in our collection?

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 is a book cover from United States. It is dated 1951 and we acquired it in 2001. Gift of Susan Lustig Peck.

This image is on display This object is currently on display in room 108 as part of How Posters Work.

Its medium is

offset lithograph on thin glossed paper

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.

This object was graphic design by Alvin Lustig and written by Hermann Hesse and published by New Directions Books

This object was donated by Susan Lustig Peck

A timeline of event horizons

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18694799 and we will connect ours to yours!

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

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18694799/ |title=Book Cover, Siddhartha, 1951 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=6 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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