Timothy C. Ely (born February 9, 1949) is a contemporary American painter, graphic artist, and bookbinder, known for creating single-copy handmade books as art objects.

Timothy Ely
Timothy C. Ely

Snohomish, Washington
Known forPainter, Graphic Designer, Bookbinder.
AwardsNational Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Art Matters, Inc. Grant

Ely was born in Snohomish, Washington in 1949. [1] Following graduate school (University of Washington, MFA 1975), Ely undertook a self-directed study of bookbinding and began to create his first work..[2]

Much of Ely’s work is annotated with his own glyphs he calls “cribriform.” [3][4]

With a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1982) Ely traveled to Japan, Italy, and England to study bookbinding and paper making. He then moved to New York where he established a studio and taught at the Center for Book Arts. From New York, he moved his studio to Portland, Oregon, back to his native Pacific Northwest. His work is in many private and public collections, including the Library of Congress, the Brooklyn Museum, the Boston Athenaeum, the Getty Research Institute, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Lilly Library.

Ely has also collaborated with the writers David Abel (Memo 7 and Other Works, 1989) and Terence McKenna (Synesthesia, 1992), who also wrote the introduction to the 1995 trade publication of Ely's 1985 book Flight Into Egypt.[5] Ely has also illustrated a small number of conventional or commercial projects.

Some of Ely's works includes: Heliotropy (1983, Smith College), Countercode Archeo-logic (1984, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas), Triad (1985, Temple University), Optical Aleutians 4 (1986, National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum), Elementals (1989, Yale University), Totem (1989, Library of Congress), Sense 9 (1990, Florida Atlantic University), Doppler Gossip (1991, Brooklyn Museum), Alpha Deep (1991, Princeton University), Saturnia (1994, Lilly Library), Arka (1995, University of Utah), Pelidnota (1995, Stanford University), Gamma Cruxis (1997, Columbia University), Tables of Mercury (2000, Multnomah County Library), Time Stunt: Spore (2001 Boston Athenaeum), Compound 12 (2005, University of Denver), Halo Chalice (2005, Lilly Library), Trajections (2006, Reed College), Formation (2008, University of Idaho), Index (2009, Lilly Library), Interference (2012, Bradley University), Polarity (2013, Lilly Library).

Ely currently lives in Colfax, Washington.[6]


  1. ^ Ely, Timothy C. (2018). "A Planetary Collage Blog, About".
  2. ^ Ely, Timothy C. (2018). "A Planetary Collage Blog, Artists Journey, Part 1".
  3. ^ gonzagau (2010-09-08), Tim Ely, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2016-02-29
  4. ^ Leutz, Pamela Train (2010). The Thread That Binds: Interviews with Private Practice Bookbinders. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press. pp. 39–50. ISBN 978-1-58456-274-0.
  5. ^ Ely, Timothy C. (1995). The Flight into Egypt: binding the book. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-0620-0.
  6. ^ Masters. Book arts : major works by leading artists. Wallace, Eileen (Book artist),, Hale, Julie ([First edition] ed.). New York. 2011. ISBN 9781600594977. OCLC 645889535.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

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