introducing readers to writers since 1995

February 24, 2004

The Chip Kidds of Jazz Age Paris

by Ron Hogan

artdecocover.jpegThe New York Public Library is getting ready to display a large sampling of a French bibliographic collection's Art Deco bookbindings. The bindings by Pierre Legrain and Rose Adler are pretty damn stunning, based on the photographic evidence.

One of the most eye-catching items on view is the binding Legrain created for Paul Morand's Les Amis nouveaux, in which he combined blue calf with perforated nickel-plated steel, with gold dots in the center of the perforations and repeating on the spine and the doublure. Considered one of the great "modern" bindings, the composition appears to salute architect Otto Wagner and his Postal Savings Bank in Vienna, an impression reinforced by the steel rivets on the inside of the covers.

You'll have noticed that the picture I'm showing isn't actually of that book. For some reason, the binding of Colette's L'Envers Du Music-Hall just caught my eye more readily, although the Morand is pretty hot.


My god, but those books are lovely. I'm excited to see them in person.

Posted by: Dietsch at February 25, 2004 02:21 PM
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