Featuring nearly 40 objects made from clay, wood, fiber, and metal, In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950–1970 showcases art from the field of American craft.
After World War II, artists entered an intense period of experimentation during the 1950s and 1960s, backed by the rise of support systems such as membership groups, exhibitions, and publications. The focus shifted from working with industry to making objects by hand, in the studio.
The result was the birth of a new field: Studio Craft, which embraced both functional and sculptural forms. In the Studio showcases the early decades of the field when artists championed a revival of traditional skills. The period produced distinctive regional centers of craft in California, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, each with its own aesthetics, techniques, and stylistic identity.
Providing a snapshot of craft across America, the works of art in this exhibition are made by many of the masters who established new aesthetics and methods of creating in their respective mediums. The objects are complemented by a selection of ephemera and catalogues from the Museum’s Hirsch Library, emphasizing the professionalization of the field.