Designer bindings are perhaps the only books you should judge by their covers. In making them, artists use materials like leather, wood, metal, and cloth to create bindings or structures to house an already published work or a new artist’s book. The results are often stunning combinations of colors, shapes, typography, and texture. Molly Dotson, the exhibition's curator and the assistant curator of rare books and manuscript at the Center, explained that “designer binders may engage with the book’s dichotomy between interior and exterior, and their works often reinforce the visual, tactile, and temporal experiences of reading.”
Several examples of the work of designer binder George Kirkpatrick will be on view, as well bindings by Susan Allix, Hannah Brown, Michael Wilcox, and Robert Wu, among others. According to a press release, the Alberts commissioned much of their collection directly from the binders, and all of the works on display are promised gifts to the Center.