American 20th-21st Century Crafts and Decorative Arts



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American 20th-21st Century Crafts and Decorative Arts."Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

After articles and essays from Resource Library are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches. Following online resources may be information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:









TFAO suggests from the Web:

Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice & Melvin Eagle Collection, an exhibit held August 27 - October 25, 2015 at the Canton Museum of Art. CMA says "The heart of the Eagle Collection is ceramics, particularly works made by California-based artists, such as Peter Voulkos and his students John Mason, Ken Price, Paul Soldner and Stephen de Staebler, who revolutionized the field by advocating a sculptural and abstract aesthetic rather than the functional forms that had previously predominated contemporary clay. The Funk Movement of the mid 1960s and 1970s is amply represented by important clay works by Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Viola Frey, Michael Frimkess, David Gilhooly, Howard Kottler and Marilyn Levine. Second-generation ceramic artists that further cemented California's reputation as an incubator for innovation in the field, including Ralph Bacerra, Michael Lucero, Ron Nagle and Adrian Saxe, are also featured. In addition, clay art by ceramists such as Rudy Autio, Jack Earl, Edward Eberle, Ken Ferguson, Wayne Higby, Don Reitz, Toshiko Takaezu, Robert Turner and Betty Woodman provide an introduction to functional, narrative and sculptural trends that were developed in other regions of America in the post-World War II period." Accessed February, 2016.

Craft In America, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote and advance original handcrafted work, through educational programs in all media. Accessed August, 2015.

40 under 40: Craft Futures, an exhibit held July 20, 2012 - February 3, 2013 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Includes online videos and press coverage. Accessed April, 2015.

The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s is a 2017 exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art which says: "The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s is the first major museum exhibition to focus on American taste in art and design during the 1920s and early 1930s. Through a rich array of over 300 extraordinary works in jewelry, fashion, automobiles, paintings and decorative arts, featuring the events and people that punctuated the era, the exhibition explores the impact of European influences, American lifestyle, artistic movements and innovation during this exciting period." Accessed 11/17

MTAA: All the Holidays All at Once, an exhibit held June 26 to October 2, 2011 at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Accessed 4/14

Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House, an exhibit held October 1, 2011 - May 6, 2012 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Includes online blog, podcast and press coverage. Accessed April, 2015.

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985 is a 2019 exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles or which says: "With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985 is the first full-scale scholarly survey of this groundbreaking American art movement, encompassing works in painting, sculpture, collage, ceramics, installation art, and performance documentation."  Also see article in Los Angeles Times Accessed 6/20

University of Cincinnati article "Duct Tape for Dads: UC Duct-Tape Sculptures to Display Father's Day Weekend at Ohio Duck Tape Festival" including photos and a video. Accessed August, 2015.



TFAO suggests these books:

Crafts of Arizona Indians, by Clara Lee Tanner. 40 pages. Arizona Development Board (July 1, 1960). ASIN: B0007GZ5XE
Southern Arizona Folk Arts, by James S. Griffith. 234 pages. University of Arizona Press (October 1988). ISBN-10: 0816510849. ISBN-13: 978-0816510849


TFAO suggests these DVD or VHS videos:

American Craft Museum (now Museum of Arts and Design) is a VHS 10-video series from Crystal Productions which says: "This video series illustrates diverse examples of creativity and provides students with a broad exposure to the potential in each medium. The works of hundreds of outstanding artists also motivates students and offers a foundation for their own work. The images are from the exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design, formerly the American Craft Museum. The 10 videos in the series include:
Functional Pottery
Contemporary Clay: Diverse Soup Tureens
Contemporary Ceramics
Contemporary Ceramic Teapots
Clay Figures, Animals, and Landscapes
Papermaking USA and the Handmade Paper Book
Jewelry USA
Fiber Coiled Basketry
Masks and Face Coverings
American Style: The Arts and Crafts Movement: 15 minutes 1988. "The Arts and Crafts Movement in America began in the 1860s as a response to the poor quality and design of machine-made, mass-produced household items. Intended for both beginning and advanced collectors, this video is hosted by D. J. Puffert, a California dealer and collector, owner of the Arts and Crafts Shop in Sausalito, California. Puffert summarizes the history of the period and profiles major figures such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose creations made this the most significant movement in American design at the turn of the century "

Craft in America. This 2007 DVD from PBS Home Video includes 3 episodes: Memory, Landscape, and Community, shown in HD widescreen (16x9 aspect ratio). 180 minutes on 1 disc. PBS says: "This program explores the history and significance of the craft movement in the United States and its impact on the nation's cultural heritage. "Memory" focuses on the historical relevance of craft through the eyes of several contemporary pioneers in the field. "Landscape" examines the interdependent relationship of craft artists to their media and the natural world. "Community," highlights the social and emotional connections that crafts embody." For more information see Craft In America. Preview this video here.[9:48] The followwing clips are from the press conference conducted in March 2007 at KCET, the presenting PBS station for the series: Creator Carol Sauvion and featured artist Kit Carson [2:17]; Creator Carol Sauvion with featured painter and ceramic artist David Gurney sharing his Tree of Life [2:14]; Creator Carol Sauvion with master craftsman and artist Sam Maloof, creator of rockers for American Presidents [2:38].

Crafting an American Style is a 60 minute DVD from Crystal Productions which says: "Explore the beauty of handmade American crafts by examining the history of the American Arts and Crafts movement from 1900 to the present." Also available on VHS.

Gold leaf: powder and paint is a VHS video produced by Historical Society of Early American Decoration in 2000. It describes the techniques used in researching, recording and preserving American decorative arts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format

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