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Margaret Armstrong(1867-1944): Art Nouveau Book Cover Artist

 

Margaret Armstrong monogram
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Margaret Armstrong monogram

Margaret Armstrong(1867-1944), designed over 270 book covers during her career.  I am drawn to her swirling designs, detailed flowers, and love of gold and silver imprinting, and deep rich binding colors.  She and a group of female friends traveled around the western states from 1911-1914, and took a trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon(the first white women to do so), and went on to write and illustrate Field Book to Western Wildflowers. (Printed Flower Gardens)

I was interested to discover, since Stratoz makes stained glass,  that Armstrong’s father was a well-known stained glass artist who worked with Tiffany, Maitland Armstrong, along with Margaret’s sister Helen Armstrong, using a technique of “plating” where glass is stacked in order to modulate the light.  I also covet her monogram, since it is the same letters of my own, and I love the interlocking type.

According to her brother Hamilton Fish Armstrong, in his book Those Days:

“She started a vogue for making the book covers themselves artistic and distinctive, and her covers became a sort of identity tag for the author. Whenever I see the dark blue and gold design on the spine of some book on a library shelf I have recognized it as Henry van Dyke’s even before Margaret’s distinctive lettering tells me so.”

How to Know the Wildflowers
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How to Know the Wildflowers. Cover by Margaret Armstrong.

 

Tent on the Beach
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Tent on the Beach. Cover by Margaret Armstrong

Love finds the way
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Love finds the way. Cover by Margaret Armstrong

Days Off
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Days Off. Cover by Margaret Armstrong.

Pippa Passes
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Pippa Passes. Cover by Margaret Armstrong.

 

Sleepy Hollow.  Cover by Margaret Armstrong.
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Sleepy Hollow. Cover by Margaret Armstrong.

 

How to Know the Ferns.  Cover by Margaret Armstrong.
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How to Know the Ferns. Cover by Margaret Armstrong.

5 comments

  1. Di says:

    I’m just crazy about these. They make me want to take a field trip to the Book Barn, in hopes of some lovely approximation of this beauty.

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