Sarah Orne Jewett’s dear friend Sarah Wyman Whitman designed her book covers with a simple and elegant look in the Arts and Crafts style.
Whitman began studying painting with noted artist William Morrison Hunt, and with Hunt’s teacher Thomas Couture in Paris. She became interested in the Arts and Crafts movement and began working in stained glass and in book cover design.
At its core, the Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction against industrialization. The movement rejected mass production, finding it dehumanizing, and instead prized handcrafting and the individual artist. The movement placed attention on beauty in functional, everyday objects and so focused more on the decorative arts such as ceramics, handmade textiles, furniture, jewelry, and books than on painting and sculpture. Sarah Wyman Whitman was a founding member of the Boston Arts and Crafts Society (1897).