japonisme: more japonisme in book design

13 April 2007

more japonisme in book design

what, one might think, does this child fash- ioning a game out of book furniture have to do with japon- isme, and then one realizes the artists, jessie wilcox smith and elizabeth shippen green, have given themselves away by making the only easily identifiable cover be one of the bound collection of issues of s. bing's 'artistic japan.' (from here)

i like this simple offering by peeter kippik for the drawing, yes, but also for the very calligraphic lettering. (from here)

as i typed in the search terms 'crows in japanese art,' i laughed at myself. one of the strongest and clearest memories i have from japan are the crows. they were a common element of japanese art, painting and printmaking, throughout at least the edo period (of 250 years); i'll guess it was a mix of presence, personality, and brushstroke simplicity, that kept them there.

and then there is this, an illustration to a grimm fairy tale, 'the seven crows,' probably, by gustaf tenggren
(from here who got it from here.)

clara chipman newton, a designer of rookwood pottery, also illustrated some books.

ohara koson was a printer and painter specializing in kacho-e, images of birds, flowers, fruits.

and i wish, oh i wish someone could tell me who designed these?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't find who designed the book at the end, but I can tell for sure that I would like to own it...

15 April, 2007 02:05  
Blogger Dominic Bugatto said...

Inspiriing stuff as always, esp the Watanabe crow/leaf piece. Stunning image.

15 April, 2007 07:56  
Blogger harlequinpan said...

i think the cover of SHADOWINGS is designed by Sarah Wyman Whitman,but i'm not sure another one.

15 April, 2007 09:11  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

mirko--i know! aren't they beautiful? along with this one, i love them all. and here h.pan comes along and finds it!! thanks!! though i realize i did find the designer for the one on the other page.

yeah, dom--isn't it amazing

15 April, 2007 20:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a double take at first... Japonisme meets Estonia!

16 April, 2007 05:47  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thought you'd like that ;^D

16 April, 2007 08:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh lotusgreen, the book you point out in your link is even nicer! I'll probably steal it for my blog sooner or later ;)

17 April, 2007 06:50  
Blogger lotusgreen said...


as long as you thank me ;^)

17 April, 2007 07:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear lotusgreen
I wanted to add a few words about the book Shadowings by Lafcadio Hearn. The cover of this spectacular book was designed by the firm the Decorative Designers (though I don't know which of them did what part of the cover, I have my own favorite candidate!) There is a lot of information on them out there so I won’t go into any details. It’s understandable that the cover was misattributed to Sarah Whitman, as she did many Hearn covers for Houghton Mifflin around the turn of the last century. But this is not one of hers (the lettering alone would make one question this assumption). Likewise (as many book dealers have incorrectly stated) it is not the work of Bruce Rogers. Though I looked carefully at both the book and the jacket, the binding is not signed with the Decorative Designers’ monogram; but Charles Gullans and John Espey, who were experts on the firm, attribute the work to them, and the cover appears in an illustrated article from 1915 which shows a number of DD covers. The design is also repeated on the dust jacket, though the pale blue flowers are done in silver there. I hope this helps!

23 April, 2008 12:29  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh that is wonderful, paul--thank you. i clearly need to do some more research on the DDs! (and feel free to add anything you want to anything i come up with)

(up with which i come???)

23 April, 2008 15:36  

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