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MTSU library highlights British book jacket art at April 21 reception

Through the end of May, MTSU’s James E. Walker Library will pay tribute to the beauty of a subject seldom discussed today outside the walls of a publishing house.

Guest curator Kyle Stoneman, a lecturer in the Department of Art, will describe and explain the collection at a reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in the Special Collections Reading Room.

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A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“All these books used to be very cheap and are now worth hundreds of dollars each,” Stoneman said.

The private collection includes book covers for the works of distinguished authors such as Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot.

“These were authors who had an interest in visual culture,” said Stoneman. “They were intimately connected with their own aesthetic.”

The artists who created the designs include Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Rex Whistler and Cecil Beaton.

Kyle Stoneman

Kyle Stoneman

Walker LibraryMany were members of the so-called “Bloomsbury Group,” a loosely knit, influential collection of avant-garde authors and artists who grew up between World War I and World War II. Stoneman said their works had a modernist, whimsical quality.

“In many cases, they haven’t been realized as works of art,” Stoneman said. “Now people are starting to realize how wonderful they are.”

“Lightly Worn” is open for free public viewing from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The April 21 discussion also is free and open to the public.

Off-campus visitors viewing the exhibit should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

For more information, contact Stoneman at 615-898-2455 or kyle.stoneman@mtsu.edu or Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library at 615-904-8503..

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

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