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Makers: A History of American Studio Craft
     

Makers: A History of American Studio Craft

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by Janet Koplos, Bruce Metcalf
 

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Here is the first comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States. Makers follows the development of studio craft—objects in fiber, clay, glass, wood, and metal—from its roots in nineteenth-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the twentieth century.

More than four hundred illustrations complement

Overview

Here is the first comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States. Makers follows the development of studio craft—objects in fiber, clay, glass, wood, and metal—from its roots in nineteenth-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the twentieth century.

More than four hundred illustrations complement this chronological exploration of the American craft tradition. Keeping as their main focus the objects and the makers, Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf offer a detailed analysis of seminal works and discussions of education, institutional support, and the philosophical underpinnings of craft. In a vivid and accessible narrative, they highlight the value of physical skill, examine craft as a force for moral reform, and consider the role of craft as an aesthetic alternative.

Exploring craft's relationship to fine arts and design, Koplos and Metcalf foster a critical understanding of the field and help explain craft's place in contemporary culture. Makers will be an indispensable volume for craftspeople, curators, collectors, critics, historians, students, and anyone who is interested in American craft.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
For a field that has been without a definitive text for over a century and a half, [Makers] represents a high water mark. . . . An inspired reference that grounds craft movements in various contexts of craft education, production, display, sales and collecting. . . . Goes far toward paving the way for the study of studio craft to gain the credibility it has long deserved.—American Craft

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807834138
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
07/15/2010
Edition description:
1
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
1,163,142
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
In Makers the American crafts have their Iliad: a must-read story, a pantheon, and the first substantial ground for contention over the origins, agents, motives, and boundaries of what is functionally a cultural identity."
—Glen R. Brown, Kansas State University

Meet the Author

Janet Koplos, a longtime writer and editor for Art in America magazine in New York, recently served as guest editor of American Craft magazine. She is author of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture and other books.

Bruce Metcalf is a studio jeweler and writer based in Philadelphia. He has taught at Kent State University and the University of the Arts and has exhibited his jewelry, sculpture, and drawings internationally.

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Makers: A History of American Studio Craft 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
dcanderson More than 1 year ago
When it was announced that Bruce Metcalf would team up with Janet Koplos on this very important project, we were curious as to the decision as Ms. Koplos has a long held, very verbal prejudice against the world of glass. 20 years ago, the Art Alliance For Contemporary Glass funded Glass Magazine to commission critical essays by art critics as a way to get them to do research into the emerging world of artists using glass as an art-making medium. Janet Koplos was commissioned and what she had to say was that THERE ARE NO PEOPLE WORKING IN GLASS WHOSE WORK RISES TO THE LEVEL OF ART. She was talking about the 20 - 25 people she now covers in this book. 5 years ago, when William Warmus did a major show of art made from glass at the Norton Museum, Palm Beach, we invited Ms. Koplos to come as our guest to see how wrong she was. She declined saying that NOTHING HAD CHANGED. I bought this beautiful, large book to see how it came out and spent yesterday reading the parts about glass. I was pleased to see that many of the short pieces written about the glass people were accurate and not written from the perspective of an art critic............but some were. Let me say, however, that what was written wasn't very informative. What shocked me, but it wasn't a surprise, were the entries about Dale Chihuly, William Morris and Michael Glancy. Ms. Koplos just couldn't get through this project without her critic's barbed tongue. Instead of talking about Chihuly as the engine that powered the Studio Glass Movement. Instead of talking about how he developed a vocabulary with his small work and let it take him naturally into his designs for grand installations. Instead of writing about the huge community of glass craftsmen who followed him to Seattle and worked for him over the years as they honed their skills, she concentrates on the economics of his business and the Disneyland effect of some of his major installations that have drawn millions of people. She never even covers "Chihuly Over Venice" or "Chihuly In The Light Of Jerusalem" which were spectacular projects. I guess Ms. Koplos just can't get over people who begin in the Studio Crafts Movement and who use their skills to break out into the art world. Maybe it has to do with money. Maybe Ms. Koplos is more comfortable with potters and weavers who eek out a living and uncomfortable with "craftspeople" who work in the world of large money where their work commands hundreds of thousands of dollars. But that's something for her to deal with...............but not in this book. As for her review of William Morris who she says is probably the most skillful gaffer of his time, it's horrifying to read "praised by his apologists as a spriitual sensitive man. It is an image hard to reconcile with the marketing of a hunky glassblower. Being photographed in tank tops to muscular advantage in the hot shop.......". Give me a break. And the idea that the limited work from his Canopic Jar series commands more than a quarter of a million dollars ruins it for Ms. Koplos again, because she's more comfortable in the company of craftspeople who haven't "made it". Given this kind of personal prejudice, it's hard for me to want to really read this book in its entirety but I shall in the coming weeks. So how do I rate this book........"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". Jansen it ain't. DOUG ANDERSON doug@d2anderson.c
Anonymous More than 1 year ago