Authors/Contributors

Jeff Weber

Document Type

Article

Date

Fall 1992

Embargo Period

7-25-2011

Keywords

Fore-edges, Edge Paintings, David L. Poushter, Phillis Freeman Poushter, Carl J. Weber

Language

English

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Description/Abstract

MANY PEOPLE, EVEN BOOK collectors, have never seen or heard of fore-edge paintings,l though such paintings have embellished books for more than four centuries. The art form originated in sixteenth-century Italy. Fore-edge paintings appeared in England during the mid-seventeenth-century and were produced for about forty years (165 I -ca. 1690). They reappeared in 1785 with the firm of Edwards of Halifax. Since then, many thousands of books have received fore-edge paintings and, contrary to popular opinion, the great majority of them are products of the twentieth century. Indeed, probably ninety percent of fore-edges available for sale today were painted during the last ten years. An old look to an edge painting does not necessarily indicate its age.

The present article, after some discussion of fore-edge painting history, will feature a recent major gift to the Syracuse University Library from Dr. David L. Poushter and his wife, Phyllis Freeman Poushter. The Poushter collection adds to the small group of examples previously acquired by Syracuse University. My research interests in the history of fore-edge painting center on the important issues of date, artist identification or classification, and provenance.

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