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Book Cover, Flowers of Evil

This is a Book cover. It was published by New Directions Books. It is dated 1947 and we acquired it in 1993. Its medium is offset lithograph in tan and purple ink on off-white wove 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 donated by Tamar Cohen. It is credited Gift of Tamar Cohen and Dave Slatoff.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 17.9 x 16.3 cm (7 1/16 x 6 7/16 in.)

It is signed

Signed in printed black ink, upper right: lustig.

It is inscribed

Printed vertically in white ink, spine: FLOWERS OF EVIL; printed vertically in purple ink, spine : BAUDELAIRE. Printed horizontally in purple ink, spine lower margin within white square: NC 17. Printed in purple ink, front cover upper center left: flowers; lower center: baudelaire. Printed in white ink, front cover center right: of evil.

Cite this object as

Book Cover, Flowers of Evil; Published by New Directions Books ; USA; offset lithograph in tan and purple ink on off-white wove paper; H x W: 17.9 x 16.3 cm (7 1/16 x 6 7/16 in.); Gift of Tamar Cohen and Dave Slatoff; 1993-31-165-8

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Book Cover, Flowers of Evil |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=3 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>