For over a century the University of Georgia has provided students with opportunities to study craft, offering instruction particularly in textiles, metalwork and ceramics. On February 1, 2018, the Georgia Museum of Art will open the exhibition, Crafting History: Textiles, Metals, and Ceramics at the University of Georgia, which will present work by more than thirty faculty members who have contributed to craft education at UGA, and through their work will trace the history of studio craft in the United States and the cultural forces that shaped it.
This project began in March 2016 with the award of a Craft Research Fund grant from the Center for Craft, Creativity, & Design, an organization based in Asheville, NC with a mission to advance the understanding of craft by encouraging and supporting research and critical dialogue. Since then, the project’s three curators—Ashley Callahan, independent scholar; Annelies Mondi, deputy director at the Georgia Museum of Art; and Mary Hallam Pearse, associate professor and area chair of jewelry and metalwork at the Lamar Dodd School of Art—have interviewed more than thirty individuals associated with the history of craft at the University and conducted extensive archival research. Highlights of the exhibition will include works by UGA’s earliest craft instructors: well-educated women who taught in the art department when it was part of home economics, clips from Earl McCutchen’s nationally televised educational program “About Ceramics,” and the recently repaired presidential mace and medallion made by Robert Ebendorf in 1968.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a well-illustrated catalogue published by the Georgia Museum of Art that will provide a permanent record of the research for this project. As scholars direct increasing attention to the history of craft in the United States, Crafting History: Textiles, Metals, and Ceramics at the University of Georgia will allow our stories to be included in the expanding national narrative.
The exhibition will be on view at the Georgia Museum of Art through April 29, 2018.
Keep up with the curators and their progress on Crafting History’s informal Facebook page.