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Rare Books

Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau Book Design

Compiled by Michael Taylor, 2015

The nineteenth century gave us the wonders of the Industrial Revolution, but also ugly urban landscapes and soulless mechanization. By the end of the century, designers such as William Morris, Eugene Grasset, and Alphonse Mucha were going “back to nature” and creating elegant handcrafted books, artwork, and other decorative objects that wove science with whimsy and brought the beauty of natural forms back into people’s homes.

The LSU Libraries’ rare book collections, especially the Laughlin Collection, have a good sampling of book design from this period, providing material for research, instruction, and creative projects.

For notable examples of book design from the Arts and Crafts movement, see:

Major works on Art Nouveau design that are works of art in their own right include:

See also:

Outstanding examples of Art Nouveau book design include:

For examples of Art Nouveau book bindings, see...

Unique / Handmade Bindings:

Trade / Publishers’ Bindings:

Other items of interest:

  • Le Japon Artistique (1888-91). Journal on Japanese art. Influenced Art Nouveau and Impressionism.
  • Ver Sacrum (1898-99). Journal of the Vienna Secession.
  • Die Jugend (1896). Munich magazine of the German Art Nouveau movement (Jugendstil).
  • Julius Klinger, La ligne grotesque (1907?). A collection of cards with a mirror that can be positioned and moved to create abstract designs.