Congratulations to the 2020 Craft Research Fund Exhibition Awardees!

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Craft Research Fund Exhibition Grant

Grants up to $15,000 awarded to support exhibition research that encourages, expands, and supports scholarly craft research in the United States.

Olga de Amaral Pueblo V (Town V), 2013. Courtesy Casa de Amaral. Photo: Diego Amaral

The Craft Research Fund - Exhibition grant is one of four categories that make up the Craft Research Fund, a visionary program dedicated to supporting scholarly craft research in the United States. Since 2005 the Center annually grants $95,000 to academic researchers, independent scholars, curators, and graduate students writing, revising, and reclaiming the history of craft. In 2019, the Center added an additional $40,000 Artist Fellowship category to support the creation of new research and knowledge through craft practice.

Grant goals


To encourage innovative research on critical issues in craft theory and history


To investigate neglected questions on craft history and criticism


To support new cross-disciplinary approaches to scholarship in craft


2020 Craft Research Fund Exhibition Grant

The Craft Research Fund was created to encourage, expand and support scholarly craft research in the United States.


  • Award Amount:
  • Up to $15,000
  • Grant Period:
  • 18 months


  • Applications Open:
  • June 2019
  • Deadline:
  • Oct 1, 2019
  • Notification:
  • Dec 2019
  • Grant Period Begins:
  • Jan 2020
  • Grant Period Ends:
  • June 2021

2020 Craft Research Fund Exhibition - Eligibility

- Proposals are welcome from museum, non-profit gallery, and independent curators.  

- Grant funds may be used to support research activities including travel for research, commissioning essays for contributors, documentation such as images or rights to use images or text, as part of the research for future exhibitions.

- The grant awards are not for the printing or web-based dissemination of already completed research, exhibition production, installation, exhibition travel or management.

- General overhead (indirect administrative expenses) is not eligible.

- No capital equipment purchases are eligible for support.

- Applicants must be able to receive taxable income for the duration of the grant or a charitable or educational organizations as defined under the appropriate provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and report this grant as income.

- Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

- This grant is intended to support scholarly research and is not for the creation of artwork.

Examples of exhibition research might include:

- Addressing work by historically important or contemporary craft artist/s

- Presenting a new understanding of the relationship between hand-made production and digital technologies

- Providing a new contribution to the history of the studio craft movement

- Placing American craft in a global context

- Or other topics that offer fresh perspectives within the field

2020 Craft Research Fund Exhibition - Requirements

- Seventy percent of the grant will be awarded upon execution of the grant agreement and receipt of the awardee’s W9.

- Recipients will provide a status report on the project half way through the grant period (September 30, 2020).

- Recipients must provide content for at least one blog post.

- The final thirty percent of the grant will be awarded upon receipt of a final report to include a project narrative, a budget report and two copies of any publication produced as a result of the research grant. Project and final report must be completed in 18 months, with a deadline of July 31, 2021. If there is no publication, then provide a copy of the completed research in full.

- Recipients will acknowledge support from “Center for Craft Craft Research Fund” in any publications or presentations resulting from the grant.

2020 Craft Research Fund Exhibition - Review Process

Proposals will be reviewed by staff of the Center for Craft for completeness and evaluated by peer-review of readers, who are recognized craft scholars, faculty and/or curators, free of any conflict of interest, based on the following criteria:

- If completed properly, the proposal will advance scholarship and knowledge on craft in the United States

- The plan for dissemination identifies the audience, is reasonable, and has supporting documentation as appropriate

- The project is feasible based on the timeline, expertise, and budget reflected in the application

- The project addresses the goals of the Craft Research Fund

2020 Craft Research Fund Exhibition Grant - How to Apply

DEADLINE: The application for 2020 Craft Research Fund - Exhibition grants must be submitted via SlideRoom no later than 11:59 pm EST on Friday, October 1, 2019.

NOTIFICATION: Notification of the results will be sent via e-mail in December 2019 for a start date of January 1, 2020. The e-mail address listed on the application form will be used to send out notifications. Please be sure that it is a valid account that you check regularly.

HOW TO APPLY: Applicants must apply using the online application program SlideRoom at Please review the sample application below before beginning your application. Please note there is a separate application for each Craft Research Fund category.

All applicants should create a login to be able to partially complete the form and return to finish it at a later date. Before submitting your application, you will be directed to a confirmation page where you will be able to review your form and return to edit or delete your uploaded files as needed. Once you submit your application, you will not be able to access your form again. Applicants will receive a confirmation email once the application form has been successfully submitted.

2020 Craft Research Fund – Exhibition Grant SAMPLE APPLICATION

This is only a sample application, all applications much be completed in SlideRoom.

Cover sheet

1. Name (applicant/s and/or organization)

2. Your Title

3. Your Personal Website or Project Website

4. Grant Amount Requested (up to $15,000)

5. Are you over 18 years old (yes or no) 

6.Are you able to receive taxable income for the duration of the project period (yes or no) 

7.Please provide a project title (up to 15 words)

8.Please provide a summary of your research proposal (no more than 50 words) 


1. Please summarize the following (500 words):

  • Focus of exhibition and relevance to the advancement of craft in the United States
  • Goals and objectives of the exhibition
  • Curatorial research methodology
  • Dissemination plan (exhibition dates, catalogue, online presence, etc.)

2. Please provide a historiography for the ideas central to this exhibition. Identify three other scholars who have written significant works on/around your topic, and describe how your work parallels and pushes the topic forward (500 words or less).

3. Timeline and schedule for completing the project.  Projects must be completed by July 30, 2021 (18 months from start date).

4. Budget Form. Provided in SlideRoom.

5. Please provide a budget narrative if necessary.

6. CV of relevant education and experience (no more than 2 pages).

7. The exhibition description (no more than 5 pages, in no less than 12 point type).

8. A bibliography of at least ten sources.

9. One letter of support from the hosting institution that includes why this exhibition is supported.

10. Optional page for image/s that compliment or add clarity to the proposal.


Meet the 2020
Craft Research Fund Exhibition Grant Recipients

The Center for Craft is pleased to announce the recipients of 2020 Craft Research Fund Exhibition Grants.

Museum of Arts & Design



Materials that Make a Difference


Support for Materials that Make a Difference (opening February 2020), a multi-year exhibition featuring the Museum’s permanent collection that highlights the multiple historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts for craft in the post-World War II era.

Learn more

Milwaukee Art Museum



Currents 38: Christy Matson


Support of a publication and the production of educational materials related to Currents 38: Christy Matson (opening October 2020), presenting the work of the highly skilled weaver, Christy Matson.

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Cranbrook Art Museum




To support the monograph publication and concurrent exhibition Olga de Amaral: Alchemy, opening November 2020.

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Shannon Stratton




This award was granted to organize SOFTWARE, an exhibition that overlays histories of weaving, technology, and women's labor with modern and contemporary artworks drawn from the digital and fiber studio disciplines at The Mint Museum and Arizona State University Art Museum (both 2022/2023).

Learn more


Meet the 2019 
Craft Research Fund Exhibition Grant Recipients

The Center for Craft is pleased to announce the recipients of 2019 Craft Research Fund grants. This year 11 organizations, curators, scholars, and graduate students will receive a total of $98,771 to support craft-centered research, exhibitions, catalogs, and projects in the United States.

4 out of 8 Exhibition Grant proposals awarded.

Ahrong Kim, Untitled {I think everybody hates me},
2016, Porcelain, Stoneware, Luster, Resin, Gold Leaf.

The Clay Studio, From Storage to Studio


Support for an exhibition and publication featuring eight curators at The Philadelphia Museum of Art welcoming fifteen artists to art storage to explore and choose an inspiration. In Fall 2019, during the American Craft Council conference in Philadelphia, the new and museum artworks will be on view together at The Clay Studio.

Learn moreVIEW SITE

Phoebe Kuo and Laura Mays interviewing Mollie Ferguson in her shop in Oakland, CA.
Photo Credit: Deirdre Visser.

Laura Mays, Deirdre B. Visser, and Phoebe Kuo, Women's Work


"Women's Work" foregrounds the innovative, exploratory, and diverse practices of contemporary women and gender non-conforming woodworkers. The exhibition and associated book illuminate the contributions these artisans make to understanding wood as a medium that engages spatial, material, and aesthetic challenges and shaping the future of the craft.

Learn moreVIEW SITE

Rena Wood Memorial (Departures), 2016. Hand embroidery on vintage table linen 48in x 48in.

Southeast Fibers Educators Association


Support for a traveling, 5-state, members exhibition and printed catalog of exhibited works with critical essays by Amanda Thatch (former Textiles and Drawing/Painting Studio Coordinator, Penland School of Crafts and currently enrolled in an MFA program at University of Wisconsin- Madison) and Kathryn Gremley (Gallery Director, Penland School of Crafts).

Learn moreVIEW SITE

Triple Canopy, preparatory photographs for Can I Leave You?, an installation to be presented at “Raid the Icebox Now,” RISD Museum, 2019.

Triple Canopy, Raid the Icebox Now


Support for research related to an installation, print publication, issue of an online magazine, and series of public programs devoted to the relationship between craft and the construction of national identity, focused on the RISD Museum’s Pendleton House—the “first museum wing dedicated to the exhibition of American decorative arts.”

Learn moreVIEW SITE

Field Building

2019 Selection Committee

Marie Cochran

Marie Cochran is the founding curator of the Affrilachian Artist Project, which celebrates the intersection of cultures in Appalachia--- specifically nurturing a network of African American creatives and welcoming anyone committed to the sustainability of a diverse region.

Bernie Herman

Bernie Herman is the George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies and Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, works on the material cultures of everyday life and the ways in which people furnish, inhabit, communicate, and understand the worlds of things.

Lydia Matthews

Lydia Matthews is Professor of Visual Culture in Parsons Fine Arts program and founding Director of the Curatorial Design Research Lab at The New School.

Mary Savig

Mary Savig is the curator of manuscripts at the Archives of American Art. Her broad research objective is to understand the historical development of craft in the 20th century and how it has functioned as an indicator of culture




















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