MURFREESBORO — Through the end of May, the James E. Walker Library will pay tribute to the beauty of a subject seldom discussed today outside of a publishing house.
“Lightly Worn: The Dust Jacket in Britain, 1920-1960,” an exhibition in the fourth-floor Special Collections area of the library, highlights commercial book design from the early 1920s to the late 1950s.
Guest curator Kyle Stoneman, a lecturer in the Department of Art, will describe and explain the collection at a reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in Special Collections. A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.
“All these books used to be very cheap and are now worth hundreds of dollars each,” Stoneman said.
The private collection includes book covers for the works of distinguished authors such as Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot.
“These were authors who had an interest in visual culture,” said Stoneman. “They were intimately connected with their own aesthetic.”
The artists who created the designs include Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Rex Whistler and Cecil Beaton.
Many were members of the so-called “Bloomsbury Group,” a loosely knit, influential collection of avant-garde authors and artists who grew up between World War I and World War II. Stoneman said their works had a modernist, whimsical quality.
“In many cases, they haven’t been realized as works of art,” Stoneman said. “Now people are starting to realize how wonderful they are.”
“Lightly Worn” is available for public viewing from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at no charge. The April 21 discussion also is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Stoneman at 615-898-2455 or email@example.com or Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library at 615-904-8503.