Tribute to Paul J. Smith

Tribute to Paul J. Smith

Join us to celebrate the extraordinary life and legacy of our visionary friend and colleague.

Start date

Sunday, April 25, 2021, 4:00pm

End date

Sunday, April 25, 2021, 5:00pm
Photo of Paul Smith and other as 1977 ACC conference

Paul J. Smith, director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, Joan Mondale (center), and Barbara Rockefeller (right), American Crafts Council chairwoman, at the American Crafts Council's Eighth National Conference, held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina June 7–11, 1977.

Tribute to Paul J. Smith

Sunday, April 25, 2021, via Zoom
1 p.m. PT | 2 p.m. MT | 3 p.m. CT | 4 p.m. ET
Register below

Please join the American Craft Council and the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) to celebrate the extraordinary life and legacy of our visionary friend and colleague, Paul J. Smith. Paul passed away in April 2020 in New York at the age of 88, and during his career he served as former director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts/American Craft Museum and director emeritus of MAD.

Paul was a curator ahead of his time whose joyful and open approach to craft has found great resonance for a new generation of curators and scholars. His biography does not do justice to his enormous influence on the field of studio craft and the history of the Council. He never stopped working and supporting the way the field evolved.

To celebrate Paul’s lasting legacy to the field of craft, ACC and MAD are hosting this time together for the craft community to convene, reminisce, share stories, and remember Paul.

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Director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts Paul J Smith addressing an audience at the First World Congress of Craftsmen in New York City 1964

Director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts Paul J. Smith addressing an audience at the First World Congress of Craftsmen in New York City, 1964.

Call for Video Submissions

Do you have a favorite Paul J. Smith project or exhibition? What is your most joyful memory of Paul? We’d love to make your voice heard at the memorial. Create a snappy 60-second tribute video (landscape mode is best), and share it at upload.craftcouncil.org. Do you need some examples and tools to get you started? Join the conversation by signing in with your Microsoft or Google account at flipgrid.com/craftcouncil. The deadline for submissions is April 12.

Make a Gift in Paul's Honor

To honor Paul J. Smith’s legacy and contributions to the craft field and his passion for research and scholarship, we have created the Paul J. Smith Legacy Fund for the American Craft Council Library & Archives. This fund will provide support for the preservation and use of the library by new generations of curators, artists, and scholars.

Donate Here

Explore Paul's Legacy

A man and woman wearing face paint

Paul J. Smith and another guest wear face paint at the opening event for Face Coverings at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in 1971.