photographs and video stills of Daniel E. Kelm's Mars
Jeff Derose/One Match Films

Poetic Science is the first solo exhibition in New England focused on the work of Easthampton-based artist/binder Daniel E. Kelm. Before settling into a career in the book arts, Kelm received formal training in chemistry and taught at the University of Minnesota. Kelm combines his knowledge of physical science and bookbinding with interests in alchemy and philosophy to produce a unique body of sculptural and kinetic bookworks.

As his work has progressed, the artist has developed innovative binding structures and refined his extensive knowledge of materials. According to Kelm: “The deep, expressive qualities of a binding are to be found not just on its surface, but in its form, material, and movement. When these integrally support the text and imagery there is a synergistic effect, and the impact is potent.”

The Smith College Museum of Art installation features twenty-eight works by the artist. A concurrent exhibition of twenty of Kelm’s design bindings—collaborations with some of the country’s best known artists, writers, and publishers—is featured in the Book Arts Gallery on the third floor of Smith College’s Neilson Library. This section of the exhibition showcases outstanding examples of tooled leather, cast paper, and other inventive approaches to traditional book binding.

>> read the artist's biography
>> see the books on display