The Center for Book Arts promotes active explorations of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to the book as an art object. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary and literary arts, while being a model organization locally, nationally, and internationally within the field.

We offer opportunities to artists and writers through a variety of programs throughout the year. Current opportunities are listed below.

The Nancy Norton Tomasko Scholarship for Advanced Study in Bookbinding provides financial support for individuals wishing to enroll in an advanced bookbinding course at the Center for Book Arts. Each year the Center will award scholarships for up to four individuals covering the full tuition for one course. Awardees are selected based on financial need and proof of having satisfied the prerequisites for the desired course. 

Eligible courses include:

  • Bookbinding 3: Inboard Binding
  • Bookbinding 4A: Advanced Book Production and Editioning 
  • Bookbinding 4B: Leather Binding
  • All other advanced bookbinding courses requiring the prior completion of Bookbinding 1 & 2

The following must be included in the application in order to be considered:

  • CV/Resume 
  • Statement of financial need
  • Proof of having completed bookbinding 1 & 2 or their equivalent 

About Nancy Norton Tomasko and this scholarship

Nancy Norton Tomasko 

Nancy Norton Tomasko (1947-2018) was a teacher, researcher, and editor whose specialties included Chinese bookbinding, handmade paper, and woodblock printing. After college, on a lark she went to teach English at the YMCA in Taipei, Taiwan. It was the start of a lifelong fascination with China and things Chinese. She was in one of the early groups of US graduate students to study in mainland China in the early 1980s. Later Nancy received a PhD in Ming literature from Princeton University and taught at Connecticut College and Bryn Mawr where she created an extraordinary studio course on the history of the book in China. She also taught numerous workshops on Chinese bookbinding, including at the Center for Book Arts, where she had learned Western binding some years earlier. Her greatest interest was documenting Chinese handmade paper, talking with many papermakers and dealers in China. She gave talks, wrote articles, and prepared sample books. Professionally she was for a decade the editor of the East Asian Library Journal at Princeton.

This scholarship was established in Nancy’s honor by her husband, Mark D. Tomasko. 

The Center for Book Arts is proud to announce a new comprehensive certificate program in the book arts.

The Center for Book Arts’ Education Program strives to engage a wide audience, providing beginning students and professional artists alike with a comprehensive and technically challenging curriculum. In addition to foundation coursework in printing and bookbinding, we provide structured opportunities for working artists from other media to expand their creative practice in the art of the book.

For students who wish to fully immerse themselves in the study of book arts, we have created a structured program which encourages the study and creation of the art of the book. Our certificate program consists of 210 total hours of class time, divided among 3 areas:

  • Binding (90 hours of required courses)
  • Printing (90 hours of required courses)
  • Electives (30 hours minimum- including Works on Paper, the Art of the Book, Decorative Techniques.) 

Benefits of registering for the certificate: 

  • Preferred status when registering for new classes. 
  • The opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of the medium with leaders in the book arts field. 
  • Additional studio access outside of class time. 

To Register as a Certificate Student:
There is a one-time Registration Fee of $100* to register as a Certificate Student, which includes one year of associate level membership. Students should register as certificate candidates within their first 72 hours of class time. Students who wish to apply previous coursework done at the Center towards a Certificate should contact the Programs Manager to discuss. Any past coursework will be applied on a case-by-case basis.

*$10 service fee applies. 

It is strongly recommended that students complete the program within 3 years. A final project must be presented and reviewed by the Education Committee in order receive the Certificate. The project may either be a culmination of work produced in classes, or an entirely new project. The Center for Book Arts Certificate Program is not approved by the New York State Board of Education Certificate Program.

We are inviting curators and artists to submit Main Gallery exhibition proposals at The Center for Book Arts. We are seeking proposals that elaborate, challenge and contribute to the artistic, theoretical, historical, and contemporary aspects of Book Arts.

The selected curatorial projects will be given access to the Center's resources such as the archive and collection artworks, as well as administrative support during the curation process. In addition, the curator will be awarded a $3,000 honorarium; an honoraria budget to divide amongst participating artists and program speakers; and a budget for production, including an exhibition catalog. A floorplan of the space can be seen here

This exhibition series is intended to provide contemporary interpretations of the book as an art object and/or related media, as well as to challenge traditional notions of the book arts. Exhibitions that feature a broad representation of media, site-specific installations, and performances are encouraged. The Exhibitions Committee is especially interested in proposals for:

  • Exhibitions that will further and/or challenge the discourse of book arts within a contemporary artistic criticism, particularly theme based explorations
  • Exhibitions that will advance the field of traditional bookmaking practices, particularly by showing a wide range of artists
  • Focused exhibitions of multiple artists demonstrating a cohesive artistic trend or subject matter

All submissions must include:

Submission form

Resume or CV as a .pdf

A 500 to 1000-word exhibition proposal indicating the visual and conceptual vision of the exhibition and public programs. Please also include a list of works with the title, year, medium and dimensions, with images of the works or illustrations. If images are not available, please submit recent work samples produced within the last 2 years. Images should be uploaded in jpg format and should be a minimum of 800px and maximum of 1200px in either direction.

Round 1 Application Deadline: March 15, 2020

Round 2 Application Deadline: April 27, 2020

We accept submissions on a rolling basis. The review process will take place each year in March. Applications are not to be edited once submitted. 

Application questions should be addressed to

The Book Artist-in-Residence awards 3-4 residencies to artists who have demonstrated a commitment to the book arts as a key component of their artistic practice. Successful applications should show a demonstrated knowledge of the book arts, and include a brief discussion of what you hope to gain from access to the Center’s facilities. This residency is not necessarily for creating or finishing a specific project, but should also be used as an ongoing exploration of artist books and book art to expand one’s artistic practice. 

The purpose of this residency is to fortify the practice of early career artists in the book arts, to provide access to professional equipment, opportunities and space to work, and to strengthen and diversify the community of book artists working within the New York area. International, national and local book artists are encouraged to apply, however housing is not provided. Those not currently residing in the New York tri-state area should indicate in their statement how they plan to stay in the area for the year-long duration of the residency.  The residency is not able support collectives or collaborations at this time.

This year long residency includes: 

  • $1200 stipend 
  • $800 materials budget
  • tuition waiver for all courses offered at CBA during the residency period
  • 24-hour access to CBA printing and binding studios in Manhattan

Artists-in-Residence are expected to:

  • actively utilize the studios (On average, AIRs spend 20-40 hours per week in the studios)
  • regularly attend public programs at the Center 
  • participate in quarterly BookTalks
  • take advantage of the tuition waiver

Artists are invited to submit applications by July 6, 2020. There is no fee to apply. 

The Center for Book Arts invites applications for our Letterpress Publishing Seminar for Emerging Writers.  The next session of this workshop is scheduled for Summer 2020, June 19 through 21 (Wednesday - Sunday). Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, these dates are subject to change. The seminar is tuition-free for participants and includes the cost of materials. Those selected must attend the entire five-day workshop.

Participants will hear lectures from various professionals in the field – printers, fine press publishers, book artists, and dealers, to get a practical overview of letterpress printing and small press publishing. They will learn with Master Printer Barbara Henry the basics of letterpress printing, both traditional typesetting and options with new technology, by collaboratively printing a small edition of broadsides. This workshop is most suitable for those with little to no previous letterpress experience. Each seminar will be offered to a maximum of eight students. Writers from culturally diverse backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications will not be accepted from students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs during the program year (September 2019-May 2020)

Application Deadline is Sunday, May 10, 2020
NOTE: Applicants must be 18 years or older

The Center’s Internship Program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of non-profit management with a focus in Book Arts. The Internship is an unpaid position, though it may be used for school credit, and can take classes in the duration of their internship. 

The length of the internship varies, depending on the students' schedule and requirements, as well as The Center’s schedule of activities, but is usually anywhere from three to six months long. The applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and will contact candidates directly if selected for an interviewed. 

Interns have the opportunity to concentrate in the following departments: 

Administration- Interns may develop their business and management abilities as they assist in the day-to-day operation of the organization.

Development- Interns may assist in researching grants, drafting proposals and reports, as well as developing membership drives and coordinating special fundraising events, including our annual Benefit.

Membership Programs- Interns will assist in developing and evolving our membership program, as well as growing our constituent base, along with related administrative tasks.

Exhibition Programs- Interns may assist in all aspects of exhibition development and coordination of programs in the Center's four exhibition spaces. Interns will assist in coordinating loan and consignment forms, condition reporting, reviewing publications, curate our quarterly reading room, as well as assist in installation, gallery maintenance, and de-installation. 

Library/Collections- Interns may be involved in cataloging The Center’s art collections and resource library, which consists of out-of-print periodicals, books, limited edition artists’ books, and technical books on the subjects of bookmaking and printing. Interns will assist with selecting works and drafting copy for social media posts.

Public Relations and Marketing- Interns may assist in the research of the potential markets for advancement of The Center and develop marketing plans for recommendation to the Executive Director. Interns will also update media lists, and assist in the drafting of press releases and public service announcements for The Center’s programs and projects. Interns disposed and trained in graphic design are welcome and encouraged to apply their design sense to the development of the Center's brand.

Experience and/or study of studio art, organization and management, or public relations and an interest in the art of the book are all encouraged and not required. We encourage applicants from various disciplines and backgrounds to apply. Applicants should be able to commit at least one full day a week to the internship. Applicants will be selected on a rolling basis.

Center For Book Arts