REsearch Initiatives

The Center strategically invests in projects aimed at advancing the field of craft in museums and higher education.

As an incubator for new research and emerging ideas, we convene, research, and lead initiatives across institutions to stimulate critical thinking and new directions in the field. We appreciate voices from within and outside the craft community and value the knowledge sharing and unexpected outcomes that results from collaboration.

Field Building

Field Building

Craft Think Tank

A two-day convening of national and international thought leaders intended to identify and meet emerging needs in the craft field. These convening nurture relationships across the various disciplines where craft is learned, researched, and/or shared with the public. Craft Think Tanks frequently result in new projects and initiatives, including  Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, the first comprehensive survey of studio craft in the United States, the Journal of Modern Craft, and the Craft Research Fund program, among others.

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Woman listening to other woman speak while gathered around a large table.

Photo: Steve Mann, Black Box Photography

Two men sitting and smiling on stage.

Shared Ground

The study of craft is at a critical moment as more researchers turn toward this subject and expand its geographic, temporal, and intellectual boundaries. The 2018 Shared Ground symposium explored cross-disciplinary approaches to craft studies, with an eye towards intersecting and divergent theories, methodologies, and sites of practice.

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Field Building

Makers Textbook

The first comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States. Makers: A History of American Studio Craft follows the development of American studio craft from its roots in 19th-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the 20th century.


Windgate Research Curator

The Windgate Research Curator is the first dedicated position for craft research and scholarship in the United States.  In 2014 Bard Graduate Center, the Center for Craft, and the Museum of Arts and Design partnered to establish this joint-position supporting scholarship in the burgeoning field of craft studies. The Windgate Research Curator is the culmination of this partnership, linking America’s flagship museum devoted to the skilled maker, the leading specialist academy for the study of the history of design and material culture, and the foremost national nonprofit granting organization devoted to advancing the study of craft history, theory, and practice in the United States.

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Master of Arts in Critical & Historical Craft Studies

The Center for Craft is the founding partner of Warren Wilson College’s  Master’s in Critical and Historical Craft Studies — the first program in the U.S. to focus its curriculum on craft history and theory.  This program brings together a rotating faculty from multiple disciplines and varied cultural and global locations to broaden understanding of craft as a field of study.

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Photo courtesy of Warren Wilson College

Field Building

Field Building