A multifaceted artist you can find in Glenn Adamson's new book on how artisans helped shape our country: Jeffrey Gibson's "American History," at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery. (Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins Gallery)
Glenn Adamson's groundbreaking new book, "Craft: An American History," rewrites the history of our country's craft movement with its focus on diversity and inclusion. The charismatic author is the featured speaker at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's spring benefit, Crafting a Legacy, set for Thursday, April 22, 6 pm.
Join curator, author, and historian Glenn Adamson on Thursday, April 22, 6 pm as he dishes about his new book "Craft: An American History"to benefit Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Perry Price, Craft Center Executive Director will be chatting with author Glenn Adamson during Crafting a Legacy 2021's virtual celebration Thursday, April 22, 6 pm.
Mary Ann Schildknecht's "Native Funk & Flash" (Photo by Jerry Wainwright)
Even young children learned the craft of knitting. Photograph "Boys learning how to knit," from the Amana Heritage Society
"Butter sculpture," at The New York Public Library, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection
An example of how artisans use their talent to join communities for a cause. AIDS Memorial Quilt on the National Mall lawn; 20,000 quilts are displayed. The Washington Monument can be seen in the background. (Photo by Jeffrey Markowitz/Sygma via Getty Images)
Fashion is a prime example of defining oneself and has played a large role in shaping America's identity. American hip hop musician and rapper Roxanne Shante, wearing an outfit by Dapper Dan, circa 1989. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Hopi Native American artist Charles Loloma was an influential jeweler in the 20th century. Photograph of Charles Loloma from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce
"Fitting a dress," circa 1950. (Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images)
Though not dressed for a dance, Naomi Parker aka Rosie the Riveter, foreground, and Frances Johnson look alright to us. Their clothes are the proper ones for women workers at the Alameda Naval Air station. For safety and efficiency the girls are ordered to wear slack suits, heavy shoes, no jewelry, and turbans during work hours. (Photo by Bettman/Getty Images)
Eli Terry's "Shelf Clock," at Yale University Art Gallery
Santero Patrocino Barela made wood carvings that reflect the process of human life, from childhood to old age. Photograph of Patrocino Barela from the Record Group 83: Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 1876–1959, National Archives
A Henry Mosler painting 'The Birth of the Flag' depicts Betsy Ross and her assistants sewing the first American flag, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1777. (Photo by Lambert/Getty Images)
Photograph of Nampeyo decorating pottery from the Edward S. Curtis Collection, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-48396
Sonya Clark an American fiber artist of Afro-Carribean heritage uses different material and objects to shed light on personal and cultural stories. In collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Sonya Clark's woven replica of the Confederate Flag of Truce, 2019. (Photo by Carlos Avendaño)
A wooden four poster bed frame with head board and foot board. The side rails screw into the frame providing greater strength and limited hiding places for vermin. This type of frame is known as the "Boyd Bedstead." Henry Boyd's Bedstead," from the Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
There’s nothing like wrapping yourself in a crocheted or handwoven textile, seeing the ridge marks of evenly spaced fingers on clay that has been delicately turned into a useful ceramic piece, or basking in the mystical properties of Native American jewelry. But have you ever stopped to think about the artisans behind these masterpieces?
Glenn Adamson, curator, writer and historian, did just that and dug even deeper in his new book Craft: An American History. This year, attendees of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s annual Crafting a Legacy fundraiser can enjoy the charismatic Adamson virtually this Thursday night, April 22.
Adamson will discuss his new book and share his findings on how artisans created America along with other surprising history dating back from the nation’s origin to present day.
Glenn Adamson is no stranger to writing and has been published multiple times. His knowledge of fields of craft, design history and contemporary art has been refined and broadened from formerly working as the director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, head of research at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee.
While many credit the nation’s economic or social development to industry and technology, Adamson argues that makers are at the heart and center of America’s identity. During Adamson’s intriguing talk, he will touch on interesting facts and share stories from his intensive research that will bring the artisans to life.
Glenn Adamson’s book — a mirror of our socially conscious time — brings about a new appreciation for the groups of individuals that are often over looked or don’t receive deserved credit for expanding craft, and in turn helped shape America. African Americans, Native Americans, seamstresses and those from the labor movement.
“A celebratory history of craft’s potential to liberate America from its racism, xenophobia, and sexism,” is what the influential Booklist wrote about Glenn Adamson’s Craft: An American History.
Virtual viewers will also enjoy an appearance by HCCC Board president Judy Nyquist and have an opportunity for a Q&A during the chat between Adamson and HCCC executive director Perry Price. Underwriters will get to enjoy the perks of an exclusive virtual meet-and-greet with Adamson, a signed copy of the new book, and gourmet refreshments.
All proceeds go to Houston Center for Contemporary Craft so they may continue the growth and nurturing of the Houston art community. The Craft Center provides education on the process, product and history of craft. HCCC, for nearly 20 years, has offered contemporary craft to all ages through hands on and virtual programs. The craft-focused nonprofit is dedicated to fostering emerging and promoting acclaimed artists while presenting exhibitions and providing support through the Craft Center’s innovative, open-studio, artist residency program.
We leave you with the words of Kirkus, whose starred review of Craft: An American Legacy, describes it as “A rich chronicle of craft in America from Jamestown to the present day … Adamson leads us on a chronological journey through American history, pointing out along the way — sometimes in lush detail — the various craft movements and ideas that were prominent at certain times.
“The text swarms with interesting anecdotes and names — some well-known and others who will be less familiar to most readers … Thoroughly researched and written with passion — and a bit of bite.”
Scroll through the photo slider above and below for tantalizing images featured in speaker/author Glenn Adamson’s new take on the subject — Craft: An American History.
Tickets & Underwriting
Single tickets, from $15 to $500; underwriting levels from $1,000 to $25,000. Media sponsor PaperCity Magazine.
For more information, contact [email protected] or call 713-529-4848 x 106.
Get your copy of Craft: An American History here. Join Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Crafting a Legacy 2021 virtual celebration this Thursday, April 22, 6 pm to 7 pm.
To purchase tickets go here.