Before publishers started mass producing books with standardized bindings, owners took their books to be bound individually according to their tastes and budget.
Intricately cut colors of leather, gold tooling, silver, ivory, and even gemstones would adorn the covers of these highly prized books. The Bound for Beauty exhibition explores the most beautiful books in the University Libraries’ collections—both miniature and average size—and the decorative techniques used to produce such beauty.
This exhibition was organized by the Curator of the Rare Book Collection, Cassie Brand, for the Washington University Libraries.
Bound for Beauty is generously sponsored by Donald A. and Laura E. Shindler.