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Past Exhibits


In a biological sense, wildlife describes the myriad of creatures sharing this planet, interacting and adapting, all connected to each other and their environment. "Wild" also describes an untamable essence that survives despite the constraints of society and culture. As craftspeople, knowledge of materials and keen observation of how they behave (and often how they refuse to comply) is integral to our practice; reminders of how traditional bookbinding materials originate in nature. Members are invited to interpret the theme of “wildlife” in any way they wish, be it literal or abstract, humorous or serious.

Formation Logo


Formation is a theme that can be taken in many different directions: biology (the formation of plants), craftsmanship (forming pieces, how we make things), forming ideas, geographies, personal narratives and histories, and how our histories help to inform the work we make as artists.The possibilities really seem endless. Guild of Book Workers members have examined the concept from angles in this exhibition.

Vessel Logo


The book as vessel inspires beautiful metaphor - a craft for traveling, a container, a holder, a receiver, a transporter. Across time and culture, the vessel is at the center of many ceremonies and rites of passage. Native American cultures regarded the vessel as a portal to a sacred realm. The book as craft is our vessel to sail the high seas, to hold our dearest memories, and to indicate the pulse of life. Guild of Book Workers members are invited to interpret “vessel” as broadly or as narrowly as they wish.

Horizon Logo


For many, the horizon is a source of contemplation. In the journey of the individual, the horizon represents ambitions and perceived limitations. For the hand bookbinder in the 21st century, perhaps the horizon is the drape of a leather bound book. The Guild of Book Workers’ 2012-2014 exhibition prompted entrants to consider the horizon, to interpret the theme, as they were so inspired.

Marking Time

Marking Time

Time has long captured the imagination of artists, writers, scientists, philosophers, and theologians. Guild of Book Workers members were invited to interpret "marking time" as broadly or narrowly as they wish. Themes included: a specific incident in or period of history, the future, science fiction, time as a scientific or spiritual concept, the measurement of time, current events or the role of time in one's own life.

100th Anniversary Exhibit Logo

100th Anniversary

The 100th Anniversary Exhibit celebrated the Guild as it reached its 100th anniversary. This exhibit opened at the Grolier Club in New York City for the Guild's Centennial Celebration in 2006. The opening featured both a Retrospective exhibition and a juried exhibition of Current Members' works. The online exhibit features both.

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In Flight

In Flight, offered a broad range of bindings, from traditional fine bindings to experimental book arts structures, with a few calligraphy and letterpress printed broadsides as well. Whether inspired by aircraft from the past, of the future, or the beauty of flight in nature, these bindings were not limited to aeronautics. The theme of flight also lended itself to the whimsical such as a "flight of fancy", and to the dramatic interpretation of flight from a place, as in fleeing from danger.

Best of the Best

At the end of the century, Guild members celebrated with "the best of the best" of their recent artists books, design bindings, small press printings, and anything bookish. There is a stunning variety of work from traditional techniques to the latest technologies of inkjet printing.



Celebrate the alphabet with ABeCeDarium the Guild's 1998 members' exhibition. This exhibition is an excellent representation of contemporary work in binding, letterpress printing, calligraphy, illustration and artists' books. ABeCeDarium features the collaborative work with binders and calligraphers, binders and printers, binders and illustrators, as well a numerous other combinations.


The Guild's 1996-1997 traveling exhibit, PaperBound, features different binding interpretations of Peter and Donna Thomases' book Paper. This book is a collection of samples of handmade paper from some of the finest hand papermills at work in this country.

Fine Printers Finely Bound logo

Fine Printers, Finely Bound, Too

The Guild's traveling exhibit during 1992-1994. It featured fine press books bound by GBW members.
A PDF of the exhibit catalog is available for download (13 MB).

Chapter Exhibitions

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2017 Rocky Mountain Chapter Exhibition
A juried exhibit of contemporary book works by members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. An online catalog is available here.

West of the Plains logo

West of the Plains

2008-2009 Rocky Mountain Chapter Exhibition
A juried exhibit of contemporary book works by members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. An online catalog is available here.

Inspired Design Logo

Inspired Design

The 2008 New England Chapter exhibition was Inspired Design, a set book exhibit featuring Lance Hidy's book about the design for the "Mentoring Stamp." A catalog of the exhibit is available.

New England Vignettes

The New England Chapter sponsored the exhibit "New England Vignettes" in 2004. Catalogs are still available. For information, contact the New England Chapter chair.

Stone Eye

Stone Eye was the Midwest Chapter's 2002 exhibit and traveled around the region in that year. More information is available on the Midwest Chapter pages. Or click the link above to see the gallery.

Sixteen Fine Bindings Logo

Sixteen Fine Bindings on the Art of Trout Fishing on the Rapid Streams, 1983

This 1983 "small" set book exhibition featured the sixteen fine bindings on H. C. Cutcliffe's The Art of Trout Fishing on the Rapid Streams published as a fine press book with illustrations by D. R. Wakefield. The exhibit was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Thomas J. Watson Library.