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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

December 6, 1999
CONTACT: Carolyn Smith

When a Book Becomes a Work of Art:
An Exhibit at Peabody

Forget what they say about not judging a book by its cover.

The George Peabody Library now has on display a collection of magnificent-looking books in a new exhibition: "Decorated Book Covers of the 19th and 20th Century." The exhibit, on display from now until February 1, 2000, offers examples of how a book can be more than literature -- it can be a work of art.

Some beautifully simple, others marvelously intricate, the cover designs of the books on exhibit are an array of the types of textures and palettes and styles of cloth and gold-stamped bindings that were used to entice readers of the 19th and 20th centuries. With these books, the story begins not on the first page but on the cover. These books were treasured both inside and out for their beauty and content.

The exhibit features such works as Madame Henriette Elizabeth de Witt's Les Chroniqueurs de l'Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu'au XVIe siecle with a diamond-shaped pattern cover design in fiery reds, rich blues and gold trimmings; a Giovanni Boccaccio's Life of Dante cover of bold orange and embossed flowers and Theodore Child's Wimples and Crisping Pins in a powdery blue and gilded lettering design. Thirty-five books in all are on display.

Visit this impressive collection at the George Peabody Library, 17 East Mount Vernon Place, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free. For information, contact the library at 410-659-8179.

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