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Object Timeline

1947

  • Work on this object began.

1993

  • We acquired this object.

2011

2015

2020

  • You found it!

Book Cover, Illuminations, 1947

This is a Book cover. It was made for New Directions Books. It is dated 1947 and we acquired it in 1993. Its medium is offset lithograph on cream shiny 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 featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Hand-Lettered Illuminations.

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

(irregular): 18.5 x 16.2 cm (7 5/16 x 6 3/8 in.)

It is signed

Signed in printed white ink, front cover lower left: lustig.

Cite this object as

Book Cover, Illuminations, 1947; Made for New Directions Books ; USA; offset lithograph on cream shiny wove paper; (irregular): 18.5 x 16.2 cm (7 5/16 x 6 3/8 in.); Gift of Tamar Cohen and Dave Slatoff; 1993-31-165-13

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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/18734079/ |title=Book Cover, Illuminations, 1947 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 August 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>