The Cover Sells the Book: Transformations in Commercial Book Publishing, 1860–1920


Jun 3, 2017 to Aug 27, 2017
10:00 AM until 04:00 PM


The years 1860–1920 witnessed sweeping changes in book design, inspired by technological developments, marketing strategies, and shifting ideas about art. This exhibition will explore examples of collaborative commercial book projects, which emulate the attractive layouts and decorative bindings of private presses, and the growth of a literate public on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2009, Mary G. Sawyer gifted more than 3,000 books that represent this unique moment in history to Delaware Art Museum’s Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives. This incredible collection, coupled with the Museum’s strong holdings in books and its renowned Pre-Raphaelite collection, inspired the summer 2017 exhibition.

The Cover Sells the Book: Transformations in Commercial Book Publishing, 1860–1920 was organized by the Delaware Art Museum.

Image: Miss Träumerei, 1895, Advertising poster for the novel Miss Träumerei: A Weimar Idyl, by Albert Morris Bagby (Boston: Lamson, Wolffe & Co., 1895). Ethel Reed (1874–1912). Three-color commercial lithograph, 20 1/2 × 15 3/8 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Gift of David and Lucinda Pollack, 2015.


Free with Museum admission


View map Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE

Additional Information


New Castle County



We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Business Listings

Edit Module
Edit Module