January 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Dust Jacket Art at Auction

Ever since Leonard S. Marcus did a cover story for us on book jacket designer turned children's author Fred Marcellino in 2012, I am always trying to "spot" his jacket art on books from the 1970s and 80s in shops and at book fairs. He did jackets for the likes of Tom Wolfe, Tobias Wolff, Anne Tyler, and Margaret Atwood. Marcus wrote, "Marcellino treated a cover as a miniature poster, as an artwork with the supporting role first of catching browsers' attention, then of offering a clear impression of the experience held in store."

685303.jpgIt seems collectors are beginning to notice, too. This week Swann Galleries is offering Marcellino's original cover art for the iconic 1984 re-issue of Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook (seen here at left). The estimate is $5,000-7,000. Another piece of cover art, created for T.C. Boyle's novel, World's End, in 1987, is also on the block. Its estimate is $4,000-6,000. Last year, his original art for Thomas Pynchon's Slow Learner dust jacket realized $6,720, also at Swann Galleries.

Other jacket art at Thursday's sale includes a selection of original art by Max Ginsburg, including the oil on canvas he made for the 1982 Bantam Books edition of A Separate Peace (estimate: $10,000 - 15,000) and Mark Tauss' art for Jay McInerney's 1984 cult classic, Bright Lights, Big City (estimate: $8,000 - 12,000).

Image: Courtesy of Swann Galleries.