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December 14, 2014

Last spring, I created an online flap when I posted a comment on my Facebook page about “abstract crapola” at the Baltimore ACC show. I’ll stand by my assessment, but my posting excited a whole string of unrelated responses about the shows. One issue briefly raised by...

October 13, 2013

Glenn Adamson’s new book of craft theory, “The Invention of Craft,” purports to be a revisionist history about the origins of contemporary craft. Presumably, he intends to upset the familiar story of craft under the threat of industrialization, with Ruskin providing th...

September 22, 2013

Recently I was asked to speak about craft to a small group of graduate printmaking students from Tyler School of Art. It was an interesting assignment: to talk about craftsmanship to people who are presumably more closely allied to painting than anything the craftworld...

April 14, 2013

Howard Risatti’s A Theory of Craft: Good intentions, terrible thinking.

I remember the buzz about Howrad Risatti’s book back in 2006, before it appeared. At last we were going to get a comprehensive theory of craft, written by an erudite scholar who was sympathetic to t...

March 17, 2013

In the spring of 2013, I attended the opening of Otto Kunzli’s retrospective at the Neue Sammlung in Munich. Since the museum itself was closed, they built a large temporary pavilion on the museum grounds for the show. Some 1500 people attended the opening ceremony. Th...

May 20, 2012

I went to see the annual Art Star Craft Bazaar on May 13, 2012 just to see what’s doing in the alt-craft scene these days. I missed the last two, so differences between this show and previous ones were easy to spot.

It was a beautiful day on the Philadelphia waterfront....

July 10, 2011

Kevin Murray’s recent AJF posting (“Nothing if Not Critical,” June 5, 2011) strikes me as earnest but naive. His essay concludes, “And eventually aestheticism may flower again, just as the garden regains it bloom after a radical pruning. The ambivalence of contemporary...

March 13, 2011

Early in January 2011, Kimberly Voigt and I saw the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s Fourth Design Triennial, called “Why Design Now?” I have seen the Triennials in 2000 and 2006 as well, and the 2010 version represented a notable shift in emphasis. This iteratio...

November 7, 2010

Last year, I participated in the Museum of Arts and Design’s annual jewelry sale/fundraiser, LOOT. They’ve being organizing LOOT for years, and I haven’t sent work for quite a while. I got a personal invitation from Donna Schneier – who has been very good to me – and I...

August 15, 2010

I just read a fascinating book about a theory of decoration. It’s “Rethinking Decoration: Pleasure & Ideology in the Visual Arts, by David Brett (Cambridge University Press, 2005). Sarah Burgess recommended the book to me – Thanks, Sarah!

Brett is a very well-read fello...

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Last spring, I created an online flap when I posted a comment on my Facebook page about “abstract crapola” at the Baltimore ACC show. I’ll stand by my...

Getting Serious About Getting Gray

December 14, 2014

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