The following text is about the Book titled The Book Cover Art of Thomas Watson Ball, Collected and Described by Richard Minsk and about the exhibition associated with the book. It is a beautifully written and wholly terrific thing.The story of Ball's life and work, both as told in Minsky's words and in his own memoir, is fascinating. It is also a classic tale of a designer struggling to maintain his own aesthetic standards in the cruel world of business. The book has 88 DIFFERENT BOOK COVER DESIGNS most of them created between 1897 and 1905 with additional variants: the same design in different colors, ? On different titles, or with fragments of the design used on a later edition. Thomas Watson Ball was a Modernist book cover designer during the period 18971905.
He was an innovator in abstract landscapes. Until his portfolio of covers was discovered in the 1980s his work was unknown to scholars of binding design. He worked in a wide variety of styles and most of his covers are unsigned.
The catalog identifies several genres of his work, including decorative symmetrical and floral covers, nautical, landscape, pictorial silhouette and cameos. Several of the distinct styles he created were emulated by other designers, particularly his use of silhouettes and the application of Impressionist concepts to stamped cloth book covers. This is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to his book cover art. The catalog essay places the covers in the context of his life and his work as a church decorator with mastery of Gothic painting styles and techniques, as an art director at Harper's 18941900, at Colgate 19011907, and at Richard Hudnut 19101913, and as an American Impressionist painter, particularly of marine and landscape subjects.Excerpts from his previously unpublished memoir bring his story to life. Limited Edition pictured at the top of this page, printed in full color on an Indigo 5000 digital offset press with the same text as the Deluxe Edition, but in the slightly smaller 12" x 9" format, in a flexible cloth cover with a gold-stamped panel adapted from a T. Ball design, an archival inkjet printed dust wrapper, and polyester protective overwrap. Each copy is hand bound on order. Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies. Thomas Watson Ball first came to Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1913 and relocated permanently with his family in about 1921. Although he created decorative paintings of landscapes and dramatic marine scenes, he is best known for his ceiling decorations in New York City churches and the book covers he designed for a number of major publishing houses such as Dodd Mead. Ball studied with James Carroll Beckwith (1852 - 1917), Henry Siddons Mowbray (1858 1928), and Frank Vincent DuMond (1865 - 1951) at the Art Students League of New York and also worked as the art editor for Harpers Magazine before the turn of the century. He was a member of the National Arts Club and the Salmagundi Club, and associated with the Lyme Art Association.
For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART. The item "Rare Old Lyme, Early Modernist, Arts And Crafts, Impressionist Thomas W Ball" is in sale since Saturday, August 8, 2020. This item is in the category "Art\Paintings".
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