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Book Number 143, Untitled, December 1989, by Keith Smith, American, born 1938
Book Number 143, Untitled
December 1989
Keith Smith, American, born 1938
Artist’s book with blank pages; piano hinge binding with gold foil-stamped pencils as rods
Courtesy of Scott McCarney

Keith Smith: Word Play

February 15–July 6, 2018
Explore the ways in which contemporary artist Keith Smith uses word play, poetry, typography, and sequencing to create surprising relationships between image and text in his artist’s books. Since the mid-1960s, Smith has created over 300 books. While the bulk of his oeuvre consists of one-of-a-kind artist’s books, he has also published small-edition works and book-length poems along with short dictionaries made for his personal use while writing.

Smith is also known for his textbooks for aspiring book artists, including the influential Structure of the Visual Book and Text in the Book Format. Based on years of creative exploration, teaching, and collaboration, these self-published instructional texts are also available to view in the Museum’s Library.


Amanda Bock, the Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs; with Susan Anderson Laquer, the Martha Hamilton Morris Archivist


Library Reading Room, second floor, Perelman Building

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