Congratulations to the 2020 Craft Research Fund Project Awardees!

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Craft Research Fund Project Grant

Grants up to $15,000 awarded to support projects that encourage, expand, and support scholarly craft research in the United States.

The Craft Research Fund - Project Grant is one of three categories that make up the Craft Research Fund, a visionary program dedicated to supporting scholarly craft research in 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 Project 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 Project Grant - Eligibility

- Proposals are welcome from academic researchers and independent scholars.  

- Grant funds may be used for research related expenses including travel, honoraria for contributors, salary for independent researchers, and/or support documentation such as images or rights to use images or text, as part of the research yet to be completed.

- The grant awards are not for the printing or dissemination of already completed research.

- General overhead (indirect administrative expenses) is not eligible for university-based projects.

- No capital equipment purchases are eligible for support.

- Applicants must be able to receive taxable income for the duration of the grant 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 scholarly craft research might include:

  • Research providing new insight into work by historical or contemporary craft artists in the U.S.
  • Projects presenting a new understanding of the relationship between hand-made production and digital technologies.
  • Contributions to the history of the studio craft movement in the United States.
  • Projects placing American craft in a global context.
  • Or other topics that offer fresh perspectives within the field.

2020 Craft Research Fund Project Grant - 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 Project Grant - 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 Project Grant - How to Apply

DEADLINE: The application for 2020 Craft Research Fund - Project 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 – Project 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 or project specific website

4. Grant amount requested (up to $15,000) 

5. Are you over the age of 18 (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 provide a one-page summary of your proposal (500 words or less):

  •   Research question and relevance to the advancement of craft in the United States
  • Goals and objectives of the project
  • Research methodology
  • Outcome - Proposals must clearly identify the intended outcome of the research that will be completed within the 18 month grant period, including audiences and/or publishing opportunities.  These may include stand-alone publications, peer-reviewed journals, papers presented at a scholarly conference, university colloquium or public forum, or online publications.  
  • Dissemination plan - If project includes an online or ongoing component please describe your sustainability  maintenance plan.

2. Identify three other scholars who have written the most significant works on/around your topic, and describe how your work parallels and pushes the topic forward (500 words).

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. Budget Narrative. Please provide a narrative for any budget items that require further explanation.

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

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

8. Bibliography with at least ten sources.

9. Please provide two letters of support. One letter of support from a scholar in the field who has expertise pertinent to the project and is not affiliated with this project and one letter of support from an institution, publication, organization, and/or participant, other than the applicant, who is affiliated with the project. References should be requested via SlideRoom and are due at the same time as the application, October 1 (11:59pm EST), 2019.

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

2020 Craft Research Fund Project Grant - FAQ

What is the final deadline for submitting my online application form?

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

May I mail a hard copy of my application materials to the Center for Craft’s office?

No, hard copy submissions will not be accepted. The application must be completed and submitted through SlideRoom.

Can I work on my application and return to complete it at a later date?

Yes, creating a login account will enable you to complete the form in several online sessions.

I just submitted my application but I want to return to it and make an edit. Is this possible?

No, once your application is submitted, you will not be able to return to the form or change any submitted information. The application fee must also be paid at the time of submitting your application as you will not be able to log-in again to access the payment page again.


I have a question that wasn’t answered. How can I reach the Center for Craft?

If you have any further questions, please contact


Meet the 2020
Craft Research Fund Project Grant Recipients

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

Julie Leonard




University of Iowa Center for the Book

Support for Julie Leonard (Associate Professor of Book Arts, University of Iowa Center for the Book) for the Book Arts Digital Database, which will provide an in-depth digital finding aid for the study of substantial and historically-relevant book arts materials held in the University of Iowa Special Collections.

Learn more

Allison Robinson




Support for the research of Allison Robinson, PhD candidate in History, University of Chicago (expected graduation June 2020) regarding her dissertation, “The Political Biography of Dolls: Pedagogy and Reform through WPA Programming," which investigates government intervention in labor and public education through the production of handicraft dolls.

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Dr. Sarah Warren




The 2020 Craft Research Fund supports the book projects of Associate Professor of Art History at Purchase College Dr. Sarah Warren will receive $12,500 for research related to the publication Between Rival Utopias: Craft, Counterculture, and the Persistence of Modernism.

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Dr. Jennifer Way




Support for Dr. Jennifer Way (Professor of Art History, University of North Texas) to travel for research related to Deploying Craft: Crafting Healing and Wellness in War Contexts, a monograph book project that examines why and how making craft afforded rehabilitation, restoration, and wellness to American troops, the home front, and veterans during the long twentieth century.

Learn more


Meet the 2019 
Craft Research Fund Project 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.

5 out of 31 Project Grant proposals awarded

Christine Garnier

Harvard University

“’The Currency of Handmade’: Romanticizing the Indigenous Silversmith of the Southwest”

Support for dissertation research to investigate indigenous silversmithing practices in the American Southwest by examining how photographic portraits of indigenous silversmiths and the squash blossom necklace became a site to reflect the politics hand-crafted labor, cultural persistence, and the rise of turquoise in national jewelry design.

Matthew Limb

University of California - Santa Barbara

“Living on the Edge of Survival': Ceramics and Ecology in the American West”

My dissertation investigates the ecological history of ceramics production in the postwar American West. I argue that ceramists advocated for environmentally-conscious object-making through their firing practices and materials. I challenge the absence of ceramics from the history of environmental art and argue for a critical discourse on craft.

Hinda Mandell


“Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery (Sewing) Society: Race and Gender in mid-19th Century Handicraft as a tool for the Abolitionist Cause.” 

What was the role of handicraft as a mechanism by middle-class white women to oppose slavery and support the abolitionist work of Frederick Douglass? This research project fulfills a significant gap in the literature since there is no scholarly investigation chronicling the work of the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery (Sewing) Society.

Emily Winter


I will conduct an ethnographic commodity chain analysis, following Navajo-raised wool as it transforms from raw material into the stuff of craft. The research will engage craft theory in a material way while seeking to map the ways in which craft and capital converge both inside and outside the studio.

Leonora Zoninsein

University of California- Berkeley

“Training the Nose: The Art and Science of Perfume Craft”

I research how the nose mediates material claims and bridges creative practice across artisanal and industrial divides in a comparative study of natural and synthetic perfumery. I posit a dialectic between craft and science, viewing natural perfumery as a form of chemistry and the laboratory as a space of craft.

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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