Summer holidays: Travelling Notes in Europe

Designer: Alice Cordelia Morse (American, Ohio 1863–1961)

Author: Theodore Child (American, 1846–1892)

Publisher: Harper & Brothers (American, New York)

Date: 1889

Medium: Beige cloth covered boards with brown and green decoration

Dimensions: Overall: 7 1/2 x 11 1/4 in. (19 x 28.6 cm)
Front cover: 7 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (19 x 12 cm)
Front cover and spine: 7 1/2 x 6 7/16 in. (19 x 16.4 cm)

Classification: Bindings

Credit Line: Gift of Alice C. Morse, 1923, Transferred from the Library, 1956

Accession Number: 56.522.48


A leading New York late nineteenth century book-cover designer, Morse studied at the Woman’s Art School of the Cooper Union, then under John La Farge before working for Louis C. Tiffany as a painter and designer of stained glass. In 1887 she began to concentrate on book-covers, fufilling eighty-three commissions for New York commercial publishers by 1905. Complementing the text, she chose imagery ranging from classical, to Renaissance, Celtic, Arabic, Gothic, Rococo, Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau. This design was inspired by sixteenth-century European strapwork. Covered in tan plain-weave reversed cloth, it is stamped in green, brown, and gold and apparently was removed from an actual book.