Center for Book Arts

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The Center for Book Arts
The Center for Book Arts.png
28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor
Manhattan, New York 10001

Coordinates40°44′41.38″N 73°59′23.6″W / 40.7448278°N 73.989889°W / 40.7448278; -73.989889Coordinates: 40°44′41.38″N 73°59′23.6″W / 40.7448278°N 73.989889°W / 40.7448278; -73.989889
TypeArt Not-for-Profit
FounderRichard Minsky
Executive DirectorAlexander Campos
Classes offeredBookbinding, letterpress printing, paper marbling, typography
Campus typeUrban
Letterpress shop at the Center for Book Arts NYC.jpg
Letterpress shop at the Center for Book Arts

The Center for Book Arts in New York City is the first organization of its kind in the United States dedicated to contemporary interpretations of the book as an art object while preserving traditional practices of the art of the book.[1]

Founded in 1974 by book artist and master bookbinder Richard Minsky,[2] the non-profit organization offers over 100 classes and workshops in bookbinding, letterpress printing, paper marbling, typography, and related fields.[1] The 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) center in Manhattan features a 900-square-foot (84 m2) exhibition space which is open to visitors.[2][3]

This organization also offers opportunities beyond these classes, including their annual Poetry Chapbook Competition, internships, and scholarships. Their work is channeled through five program areas: exhibitions, lectures, publication, services to artists, and classes.

In 2017 the Center for Book Arts was awarded a New York City Cultural Tourism Grant.[4]

Collections Initiative[edit]

According to their 2011 Annual Report,[5] the Center for Book Arts debuted their digitized collections in October 2010. This Collections Initiative was intended to advance their collections and make them digitally accessible to artist members and teachers alike. It was launched in 2007.

The collections include the Fine Art Collection, Reference Collection, and Archives Collection. Each of these collections can be viewed on their main website paired with a detailed record of the item.[6] While the Center of Book Arts emphasizes the creative, newly interpreted forms of their artists' works, there are a significant amount that appear traditional.

Fine Art Collection 
This collection presents new interpretations of the book form and other media as art. Works range from postcards with three dimension adornments, to recycled over-used paper and books that fold out from cases.
Reference Collection 
This collection includes works that are meant for instructional use. Works can be physically traditional but present creativity within the text. For example, having text in parallel lines of English and Hungarian or simple hand-lettering.
Archives Collection 
This collection documents the Center of Book Arts history, including exhibitions, classes, publications, and promotional materials.[7]


The organization's official blog acts as a means to highlight their artist members. Each post is a brief individual biography followed by some photographs and a touch upon what interests the artist.[8] The blog can be used for gaining insight to the artist.


Oak Knoll Press is the sole distributor of Center for Book Arts artists' works. The works of this organization's artists can be found in the Artist Marketplace, linked on the main website. It is a place exclusive for the sale of artist members' works. Twenty-five percent of all sales is given back to the organization for advancement.[9] In addition to individual artists' sales, a special edition artists' book is published each year, in a similar fashion to the prize poetry chapbooks determined by the annual Poetry Chapbook Competition.


Works made a part of an exhibition are presented within the functioning studio, among the artists' works that are still in progress. Each season runs about four exhibits.

Past exhibits include:

  • From Bande Dessinee to Artist's Book: Testing the Limits of France-Belgian Comics (April – June 2013).
  • Featured Artist Project: 2012 Workspace Artists in Residence (April – June 2013).
  • Featured Artist Project: Elena Costelian (April – June 2013).
  • Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here (July – September 2013).
  • Pamela Spitzmueller: 2013 Master Faculty Fellow (October – December 2013).
  • Scholars for the Advanced Study in Book Arts 2013 (October – December 2013).
  • My Gallery is the World Now / Books and Ideas after Seth Siegelaub (October – December 2013).
  • Valerie Blackwell Hird: The Maiden Voyages Project (October – December 2013).
  • Silence Unbound: The Artist's Lexicon in the Making (January – March 2014).
  • Featured Artist Project: SP Weather Reports (2008–2013) (January – March 2014).
  • Featured Artist Project: Aqui en la lucha-Steven Daiber (January – March 2014).
  • Once Upon A Time, There Was the End (April – June 2014).
  • Featured Artist Project: Diane Stemper-Sample Close at Hand (April – June 2014).
  • 2013 Workspace Artists-in-Residence (April – June 2014).
  • Zines+ and the World of ABC No Rio (July – September 2014).
  • Livre d'Artiste d'Aujourd'hui: Interdisciplinary Collaborations (July – September 2014).


  1. ^ a b "About The Center for Book Arts". Center for Book Arts. 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "The History of the CBA". Center for Book Arts. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  3. ^ "Richard Minsky – Book Artist". Archived from the original on June 23, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  4. ^ "The Center for Book Arts is Awarded a NYC Cultural Tourism Grant - In The News". Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "Center for Book Arts 2011 Annual Report" [1]. Center for Book Arts. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  6. ^ "About the Collection" [2]. Center for Book Arts. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "About the collection"
  8. ^ "The Center for Book Arts Blog" [3]. Center for Book Arts. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "Artist Marketplace" [4]. Center for Book Arts. Retrieved November 30, 2014.

External links[edit]