Multiple, Limited, Unique: Selections from the Permanent Collection of The Center for Book Arts

Multiple, Limited, Unique: Selections from the Permanent Collection of The Center for Book Arts
February 3- April 29, 2012

Minnesota Center for Book Arts and The Center for Book Arts share a long history. In the early 1980s, a young CBA in New York inspired and encouraged the establishment of a fledgling book arts center in Minneapolis. Today, over 25 years later, both centers — now fully mature organizations with distinguished pasts and bright futures — serve as models for similar endeavors all around the world.

Our organizations’ missions are driven by shared goals: to advance the book as a vital contemporary art form, and to preserve the traditional crafts of bookmaking. We are champions of the book arts — stewards of historic equipment and practices, and evangelists for the use and evolution of these practices by contemporary artists. We share a passion for the artist’s book and its power to inform and inspire audiences, past, present and future.

It was a great honor to partner once again with CBA, our oldest colleague and fellow leader in the field, to host Multiple, Limited, Unique. This exhibition provided an insightful historical overview of modern and contemporary book arts, as well as a tantalizing look into CBA’s world-class collection of artists’ books. Serving as host for this exhibition helped us fulfill that most critical aspect of our mission: to engage and inspire a diverse public, and to broaden the appreciation of, and love for, the book arts.


Since 2008, the Center for Book Arts has been involved in a Collections Initiative, which includes the in-depth cataloguing and preservation of our extensive collection of artist books, prints, catalogues, and ephemera. These works are now available to the public through our free and accessible online collections database ( Multiple, Limited, Unique, the culmination of the three-year effort of the Collections Initiative, offers an overview of the history and development of book arts over the past 40 years, and examines the role of the Center in both nurturing and promoting innovative artists and preserving traditional artistic practices.