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January 18, 2019

Center for Craft Announces 2019 Craft Research Fund Recipients

In celebration of ᏔᎷᏣ The Basket

The Center for Craft is pleased to announce the recipients of the 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.

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ASHEVILLE, NC (January 18, 2019) - The Center for Craft is pleased to announce the recipients of the 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.

This marks the 14th year that the Center for Craft has awarded Craft Research Fund grants, a major funding source for craft research in the United States. Executive Director Stephanie Moore states, "The Center for Craft has built a community of scholars rigorously studying craft in the United States by awarding at least $95,000 per year, over a million in awards since 2005. These researchers have laid an important and solid foundation for the study and interpretation of craft in this country by publishing books, articles, and exhibition catalogues produced in part by the Craft Research Fund."

The goals of this peer-reviewed grant are to support innovative research on critical issues in craft theory and history; to explore the interrelationships among craft, art, design and contemporary culture; to foster new cross-disciplinary approaches to scholarship in the craft field; and to advance investigation of neglected questions on craft history and criticism in the United States.

This year's selection panel included:

Marie Cochran, 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, the George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies and Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Herman 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, Professor of Visual Culture in Parsons Fine Arts program and founding Director of the Curatorial Design Research Lab at The New School.

Mary Savig, 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.



The Clay Studio, From Storage to Studio- $13,800
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.

Laura Mays, Deirdre B. Visser, and Phoebe Kuo, Women's Work-  $14,920
"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.

Southeast Fibers Educators Association - $6,000
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).

Triple Canopy, Raid the Icebox Now- $6,000
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.”


Christine Garnier, Harvard University - $9,547
“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 - $10,000
“'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 Institute of Technology - $6,014
“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, The Weaving Mill - $14,860

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 - $10,000
"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.


Colleen E. Terrell, Bard Graduate Center - $2,630
This project will draw on primary source material and archival documents to provide a focused, nuanced account of the American Craft Council’s “Craft Horizons” magazine’s content, intent, and role in the American studio craft movement in the postwar years (ca. 1950-1979).

Eliza West, Lois F. McNeil Fellow, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture - $5,000
The craft of fulling (shrinking and felting) is essential to the production of woolen textiles, but its role in defining the end uses of textiles is not well understood. This project will recreate and full historic textiles using period techniques in order to better understand the importance of this craft.

The Craft Research Fund program is administered by the Center for Craft and supported by the Windgate Fund at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.