Monday, June 6, 2022



Now available for pre-order from New Texture via Things That Were Made For Love: The Songsheet Art of Sydney Leff 1924–1932. This big, beautiful book is the first volume to collect artist Sydney Leff's designs for Jazz Age songsheet (sheet music) covers.

Sydney Leff (1901-2005) was one of the leading songsheet artists of the Jazz Age, and outlived all of his contemporaries. Unabashedly sentimental and good humored, his appealing characters (such as his signature "Leff Ladies"), graphic ingenuity, and eye-catching design work both documented and helped define the era.

Edited by Wyatt Doyle, Hal Glatzer, and Norman von Holtzendorff, this 178-page full color collection addresses the first part of Leff's prolific career as a songsheet artist. The editors are currently compiling a second volume that will take up where this book leaves off.

 Co-editor Norman von Holtzendoff addresses Leff's importance most eloquently in the book:

“A monograph about Sydney Leff is long overdue. Part of the explanation for this work being neglected is that sheet music cover art was long viewed as one of the lowest forms of commercial art. Even some commercial artists deemed it to be beneath them. It was not viewed as something of value. 

“Now, after Pop Art and other art movements challenged the high/low distinction in art, we are able to look at this artwork without the blinders of that old paradigm. And what do we see? Among other things, a contemporaneous visual expression of the Great American Songbook. We see a visual world that is a riotous collision and cross-pollination of styles, like jazz. We see the heady transitional period between the World Wars, between the ‘weird old America’ and the post-WWII global superpower.  

“We also see something by, from, and about New York City, which was the center of the world for popular music production and publication in the 1920s and 1930s. We see and feel the push and pull between the gloomy realities of the Depression years and people’s yearning for escape, fantasy, beauty, joy, and transcendence. And of course we see the rise of Hollywood, as the golden age of the American musical film dawns at the beginning of the 1930s.”

We are proselytizers for Leff and the work of his contemporaries in the field of songsheet illustration. Our goal is to make collections of their work available, affordable, and easily obtained by all interested readers. Toward that end, Things That Were Made For Love is available in two editions, and both are offered at special discounts if ordered from New Texture via, where the deluxe hardcover can also be purchased bundled with an original vintage Leff songsheet (while supplies last). 

Both editions include the same content, but the deluxe hardcover offers superior printing and image reproduction. In our opinion, the superior quality of the hardcover makes it the edition to own. Recognizing the deluxe doesn't suit every budget, we are pleased to offer a softcover edition at a lower cover price.

Both editions will available widely, wherever books are sold, later this year. Currently the book can be pre-ordered exclusively (and at a discount) via

Preview over 40 pages of the book on Issuu, here: