All This and More

All This and More

Published on Monday, September 19, 2011. This article appears in the October/November 2011 issue of American Craft Magazine.

Arthur Smith's modernist 1948 Neckpiece. Smith sold much of his work at his own shop in Greenwich Village. Photo: Purchased by the American Craft Council in 1967.

A survey of art and design in postwar America

"Crafting Modernism" takes as its subject an extraordinarily rich period of U.S. craft and design - 1945 to 1969 - and curators Jeannine Falino and Jennifer Scanlan have assembled a fittingly lavish show. The exhibition, which runs October 12 to January 15, 2012, is divided into two broad sections, each filling its own floor of the Museum of Arts and Design.

First up are the early postwar years, 1945 to the late 1950s, when craft bloomed as a powerful cultural phenomenon, offering an alternative path in an increasingly rigid, corporate world. From there, visitors can move into an exploration of the handcrafted object's emergence as a work of art. "Crafting Modernism" promises to be a grand tour of the studio craft movement in its defining years.

Intrigued? Read our Q&A with Falino and Scanlan. The MAD curators have answered all of our questions about their landmark exhibition and the gorgeous Crafting Modernism catalog (published by Abrams), featuring essays by Bruce Metcalf, Elissa Auther, and Ulysses Grant Dietz, among others. Then check back after the exhibition opens for a review by Beverly Sanders, longtime New Yorker and former senior editor of American Craft. ~The Editors