Made in Newark: Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era

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Overview

What does it mean to turn the public library or museum into a civic forum? Made in Newark describes a turbulent industrial city at the dawn of the twentieth century and the ways it inspired the library's outspoken director, John Cotton Dana, to collaborate with industrialists, social workers, educators, and New Women.

This is the story of experimental exhibitions in the library and the founding of the Newark Museum Association—a project in which cultural literacy was intertwined with civics and consumption. Local artisans demonstrated crafts, connecting the cultural institution to the department store, school, and factory, all of which invoked the ideal of municipal patriotism. Today, as cultural institutions reappraise their relevance, Made in Newark explores precedents for contemporary debates over the ways the library and museum engage communities, define heritage in a multicultural era, and add value to the economy.

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Editorial Reviews

Yale University

"Shales offers rich and compelling insights into the discussion of industrial arts. His deft handling of a wide variety of source material—from visual and material culture to performance culture, from educational philosophy to economic policy, and from craft romanticism to scientific management—distinguishes this book as an important contribution to design history, used in the broadest and best sense. It is a gripping story of shifting alliances and goals."

— Edward S. Cooke Jr.

Victoria and Albert Museum

"Made in Newark is no ordinary museum history. By dismantling boundaries between art, artisanship, and industry, Shales provides a view of a past moment that looks very much like a future to strive for. Setting a huge range of production into a richly described social setting, he shows how truly moving and enlightening interdisciplinary history can be."

— Glenn Adamson

American Craft

"Shales draws on an impressive array of sources to weave ideas about education, citizenship, economics, cultural pluralism, and the role of the museum in a manufacturing town. The result is an intensive and intriguing view of the past."
Yale University - Edward S. Cooke Jr.

"Shales offers rich and compelling insights into the discussion of industrial arts. His deft handling of a wide variety of source material—from visual and material culture to performance culture, from educational philosophy to economic policy, and from craft romanticism to scientific management—distinguishes this book as an important contribution to design history, used in the broadest and best sense. It is a gripping story of shifting alliances and goals."
Victoria and Albert Museum - Glenn Adamson

"Made in Newark is no ordinary museum history. By dismantling boundaries between art, artisanship, and industry, Shales provides a view of a past moment that looks very much like a future to strive for. Setting a huge range of production into a richly described social setting, he shows how truly moving and enlightening interdisciplinary history can be."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813547695
  • Publisher: Rivergate Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Series: Rivergate Book Series
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ezra Shales teaches at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He has worked as a museum educator at the Brooklyn Museum and the Katonah Museum of Art.

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