Book Covers: Metropolitan Museum acquires more Alice C. Morse

Alice Morse.jpg
The Thomas J. Watson Library of The Metropolitan Museum has acquired Mindelll Dubansky's collection of books with covers designed by Alice C. Morse; and also archival materials and artefacts related to Morse's work.

Mindell Dubansky is head of the Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She writes on the book arts, specialising in 19th century publisher’s bindings, hand papermaking and bookbinding.

Alice C. Morse was a New York designer working during the period of the Arts and Craft movement. She worked for Louis C. Tiffany (Tiffany Studios) for several years producing stained glass windows, leaving to focus her career on book covers. Although working in a range of styles, her curvy, organic lines and floral patterns are indicative of Art Nouveau influence (the Glasgow style). According to Cooper Hewitt, “Morse’s book-cover designs incorporate characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau, Rococo, and Classical periods and even have some Eastern influence.

In the period from 1887-1905 Alice Morse developed an impressive body of work producing decorative covers for NY publishers. In 1923 at the end of a successful academic career, Morse presented the Met with a gift of 58 book covers.

Great to see this collection enhanced by Dubansky’s diligence and enthusiasm for Morse’s work, which has led to this additional acquisition.


The Metropolitan Museum:

Mindell Dubansky:

Louis C. Tiffany:

Cooper Hewitt: