83 Years of Great Gatsby Book Cover Designs: A Photo Gallery

great gatsby cover designsEvery­body is famil­iar with Fran­cis Cugat’s orig­i­nal cov­er art for The Great Gats­by. It famous­ly gives expres­sion to lines from Fitzger­ald’s clas­sic work — lines that talk about Daisy Buchanan as the “girl whose dis­em­bod­ied face float­ed along the dark cor­nices and blind­ing signs.” Accord­ing to Charles Scrib­n­er III, the orig­i­nal pub­lish­er, Cugat cre­at­ed the design while Fitzger­ald was still writ­ing the nov­el, and when Fitzger­ald saw the dis­em­bod­ied face, he could­n’t resist writ­ing the imagery into the book. Scrib­n­er quotes the author as say­ing, “For Christ’s sake, dont give any­one that jack­et youre sav­ing for me. Ive writ­ten it into the book.”

Today, Cugat’s orig­i­nal book jack­et fetch­es more at auc­tion than a first edi­tion of the nov­el itself. And even though many oth­er artists have tak­en a crack at design­ing cov­ers for The Great Gats­by, none holds a can­dle to Cugat’s 1925 design. Just take a look at this pho­to gallery at The New York Times. (Click on each cov­er to see them in a larg­er for­mat.)

The Gats­by book cov­ers all cur­rent­ly reside at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Car­oli­na, which hous­es oth­er items that Fitzger­ald held near and dear to him — like his copy of Joyce’s Ulysses, his leather brief­caseflask, and more. You can also find orig­i­nal dust jack­ets for Fitzger­ald’s oth­er nov­els on the SC web site, includ­ing Ten­der is the Night, This Side of Par­adise, and The Last Tycoon.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Only Known Footage of the 1926 Film Adap­ta­tion of The Great Gats­by (Which F. Scott Fitzger­ald Hat­ed)

Sev­en Tips From F. Scott Fitzger­ald on How to Write Fic­tion

Loli­ta Book Cov­ers: 100+ Designs From 37 Coun­tries (Plus Nabokov’s Favorite Design)

Jack Kerouac’s Hand-Drawn Cov­er for On the Road

Find The Great Gats­by in our Free eBooks col­lec­tion

Find the Yale Course “Hem­ing­way, Fitzger­ald, Faulkn­er” in our Col­lec­tion of 700 Free Online Cours­es

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