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Skilled Work

American Craft in the Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Written by Renwick GalleryAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Renwick Gallery, Kenneth R. TrappAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard RisattiAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Howard Risatti

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Marking its twenty-fifth anniversary in 1997, the Renwick Gallery has become the nation's premier showcase and study center for objects made of metal, fiber, wood, clay, and glass. As a curatorial department of the National Museum of American Art, the Renwick has grown from a kunsthalle for temporary exhibitions to a museum branch dedicated to collecting, research, publications, exhibitions, and education. The Renwick's efforts have played a major role in heightening public appreciation of crafts and providing encouragement to those who create them. This book serves as an introduction to the world of modern crafts, exploring in both words and pictures the vibrant diversity of objects that have entered the Renwick Gallery's collection. In his essay for the book, curator-in-charge Kenneth R. Trapp traces the Renwick's history, highlighting the contributions of his predecessors and the many other people whose commitment to the gallery has ensured its success, notably the James Renwick Alliance. In his essay Howard Risatti explores our intuitive understanding of the way crafts are related to the human body and their consequent deep meaning for us. Also included are brief biographies of sixty-five artists whose work is represented in the book, among them Anni Albers, Wendell Castle, Dale Chihuly, Harvey Littleton, Peter Voulkos, and Beatrice Wood.


Published in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery, this volume presents the history and development of the gallery while celebrating modern craft as an art form. Trapp, the curator-in-charge, retrospectively describes the restoration of the building, the process of defining the gallery's mission, and the inaugural exhibitions while highlighting the contributions of his predecessors and the James Renwick Alliance. Risatti (art history, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.) explores craft as a genuine form of artistic expression, discussing it from the perspectives of form and function. Some 104 color plates comprise a photographic gallery of the clay, fiber, glass, metal, and wood creations of 65 artists, including Anni Alberts, Dale Chihuly, Albert Paley, and Larry Fuente. The book includes a chronology of the gallery and the James Renwick Alliance, as well as brief biographies of the artists. Recommended for comprehensive art and craft collections. (from Library Journal; Judith Yankeilun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., NJ; Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

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