Celebrating Great Design and Literature
Engaging Communities Around the World
Celebrate the success of Recovering the Classics by hosting your own 50x50 event! With your help, we can showcase 50 classic book covers in all 50 states, and nurture communities of book-lovers in the process.
In 2013, Recovering the Classics asked designers from around the world to reimagine covers for great books in the public domain. This spring, we announced a partnership with the New York Public Library, the White House and the Digital Public Library of America to bring the covers to libraries and schools nationwide through special edition ebooks.
Now it's time to celebrate! We're looking for libraries, schools, book stores, galleries, local civic organizations, and others across the country to create their own events around the covers—exhibits, readings, school activities, or design-a-thons.
By coming together for this series of events, we'll develop a community of readers who will share ideas, events and curricula around these classics for years to come.
We launched a Kickstarter to support 50x50 exhibits nationwide! Rewards included posters, postcards and business cards.
50x50 Across the Country
The National Archives
We made history at the National Archives in Washington DC with the first live art installation and performance piece. Anthony Johnson highlighted our covers in his work, "Space Raft Time Ship", which paid homage to storytelling and the Indigenous Peoples of North America. Read more about his piece here.
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
3rd grade students at Fort Thomas Independent Schools reimagined the covers of their favorite books. The budding artists then shared their creations in schools, digital portfolios, and public libraries.
Durham, North Carolina
In October 2015, Durham hosted a 50x50 event called Down the Rabbit Hole and Through The Frame,
where attendees were invited to dress as their favorite character from Alice in Wonderland. The showcased 21 local artist posters, including a 13-year-old student from rural North Carolina who traveled three hours to participate.
Rochester, New Hampshire
The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts hosted a 50x50 exhibit in the historic Carnegie Gallery of the Rochester Public Library as well as a pop-up show in the old Carnie Medical Supply store windows. They also hosted a one-night-only pop-up style exhibition in the former Artstream Gallery.
These exhibits are supported in part by Rochester Main Street, New Hampshire State Council On The Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Decatur selected Jungle Book for a "One Book, One Community" adult summer reading program. The event had over 150 copies of the book, printed by the Harvard Book Store with a local artist-design cover. A second reading program, which featured book cover art created by Millikin University students, was the
“Recovering the Classics: 50x50 Book Bingo.” For this participants created a standard bingo card that featured
eight additional cover designs, with "The Jungle Book” serving as the center square.
Iowa City, Iowa
Recovering the Classics was on display at the Iowa City Public Library during the Iowa City Book Festival in October, one of the town’s signature events as a UNESCO City of Literature. ICPL’s annual Art Purchase Prize contest joined the theme of redesigning book covers in the public domain.
A Collaboration Between Old and New
Our Recovering the Classics motto is: "Anyone who wants to host a 50x50 activity should be able to do so"—even if it means getting creative and finding resources in unexpected places. Whether that means sharing posters among groups in the same area, finding local sponsors or turning to folks on Kickstarter, we'd like to ensure that this exhibit reaches anyone who wants to showcase it!
We hope you'll help us spread great stories, beautiful design, and a love for the interdisciplinary around the country!