Hedi Kyle

Hedi Kyle teaching book arts


Hedi Kyle (born 1937) is a German-born American book artist and educator who has had a major influence on the development of book arts.

She was born in what was then part of Poland. During World War II, she fled with her mother and siblings; her father served in the army. After the war, the family was reunited and moved to the German island of Borkum. After graduating from the Werk Kunst Schule in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1959 when she was 22 years old, Hedi Kyle worked as an Assistant Art Director at J. Walter Thompson in Frankfort. She stayed thee for three years and then left her native Germany. She moved to the United States to live with a man she had met; they married and settled in San Francisco where Kyle worked as a free-lance designer there and in addition to New York City. The couple later separated and, during the 1970s, Kyle studied with bookbinder and conservator Laura Young in New York City. She was one of the first bookbinding instructors at Center for Book Arts and worked closely with Richard Minsky. In addition, Kyle worked as a hand bookbinder at The New York Botanical Garden from 1972 to 1976 and in 1979 she became the Supervisor of The Book Preservation Center. She also taught at Cooper Union. Kyle next moved to Philadelphia where she worked as a conservator for the American Philosophical Society. In 1987, she was invited to teach at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

In 1983, along with Timothy Barrett and Gary Frost, Kyle co-founded the Paper & Book Intensive, an annual series of bookbinding, papermaking, and conservation workshops.

Over the years, Kyle has come up with new and innovative ways of assembling books which are often based on traditional bookbinding techniques. In 1993, the Center for Book Arts held an exhibition “Hedi Kyle and her Influence: 1977-1993” which featured work by Kyle and twenty contemporary book artists influenced by her. In 2015, the 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon held an exhibition called “Hello Hedi” featuring works inspired by Kyle.

A portion of this bio was taken from The Book exhibition catalogue.

Hedi Kyle’s work was exhibited in:


30 Years of Innovation
A survey of the exhibition history at The Center for Book Arts.

The Naked Book

Multiple, Limited, Unique

2003 Instructors’ Exhibition

The Illustrated Book
An exhibition of artits’ books that emphasize the power of image to convey ideas.

Hedi Kyle & Her Influence: 1977-1993
a survey of works influenced by Kyle’s work

Book Arts in the USA
an exhibition of work by 51 artists; a cultural presentation of the United States of America

Works by Timothy C. Ely & Hedi Kyle

Book Artchitecture
an exhibition in which the structure of the book supports the metaphor of the content or is the content

Center for Book Arts: The First Decade
an exhibition at The New York Public Library

Echos of the Sea
Small scale book art exhibits: shell-inspired books by Hedi Kyle.

One Cubic Foot
a traveling exhibit of twelve three-dimensional bookworks

A DOZEN DAYS: Folded and Folded and Folded and Folded
a series of small-scale book art exhibitions

The Book
seven artists/different visions

Book Makers
Center for Book Arts first five years

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