American Craft

The internationally recognized paper artist Jiyong Chung works in the Korean craft of Joomchi (above: Balance IV, detail), a technique that was born of necessity centuries ago.

Three Craft Artists Share How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Life and Art

Traditional and innovative specialists make ready for the upcoming virtual Smithsonian Craft Show and Sale

The Paul Family Quilt (1830-35), on display in "Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories," was made for a four-poster bed.

American History as Seen Through Quilts

For historians, the textiles are much more than just decorative covers for a bed

Frederick Hurten Rhead, panel for overmantel, 1910

First Museum Dedicated to American Arts and Crafts Movement Opens in Florida

Proponents of the artistic philosophy pushed back against industrial production and embraced handcraftsmanship

Carolyn Smith collecting beargrass in Klamath National Forest, 2015. For beargrass to be supple enough for weavers to use in their baskets, it needs to be burned annually. Ideally, it is burned in an intentionally set cultural fire, where only the tops are burned, leaving the roots intact. Prescribed fires in the Klamath National Forest are few and far between, so weavers “follow the smoke” and gather, when they can, after wildfires sweep through the landscape.

Smithsonian Voices

How Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Offers Solutions to California's Wildfires

“We need to reintegrate Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and cultural and prescribed burning into our landscape,” Carolyn Smith says

In 1921, Ruth Middleton embroidered this cotton sack with a powerful family story.

History of Now

A Simple Cotton Sack Tells an Intergenerational Story of Separation Under Slavery

Historian Tiya Miles' new book traces the lives of three Black women through an embroidered family heirloom known as "Ashley's sack"

At the foot of North Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains sits Wallace, an incredibly resilient, Old West mining town.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021

From Alabama's music capital to the self-proclaimed 'center of the universe,' these American towns are calling your name

A close-up view of the Hartwell Memorial Window, a stained-glass panel likely designed by Agnes F. Northrop in 1917

Stunning Tiffany Stained Glass Debuts After 100 Years of Obscurity

The enormous, luminescent landscape spent nearly a century in Providence before its 2018 acquisition by the Art Institute of Chicago

A behind-the-scenes look at the installation of a massive piece of stained glass art inside the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.

Artisan America

Celebrating America's Oldest Family-Run Stained Glass Studio

A new exhibition spotlights Judson Studios, the Los Angeles group that's been creating iconic pieces of art for nearly 125 years

Like the original show staged at what's now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, "Objects: USA 2020," hosted by R & Company, an art gallery in New York City, aims to bring American craft to a new generation.

Artisan America

The Groundbreaking 1969 Craft Exhibit 'Objects: USA' Gets a Reboot

More than 50 years later, the new show combines the works of 100 established and emerging artists

Jim McDowell holds his jug, “Emmett Till.”

Smithsonian Voices

How a Pioneering Ceramicist Is Using Pottery to Reclaim Black History

Jim McDowell, known to many simply as “the Black Potter,” is a ceramicist who specializes in a craft with deep connections to lost histories

Amelia Joe-Chandler, Hogan Teapot, 2013. Hammered copper and cast silver. 7.5 x 11 x 9cm. National Museum of the American Indian, 26/9781.

Smithsonian Voices

Learn the Powerful Story Behind This Handcrafted Diné (Navajo) Teapot

From the storage vaults of the National Museum of the American Indian, a small, copper sculpture points to a different sense of place

In honor of Black History Month, Etsy debuted nine online stores featuring work by Gee’s Bend quilters (including Doris Pettway Mosely, who is pictured here).

Thanks to Etsy, You Can Now Purchase a Gee's Bend Quilt Online for the First Time

The Alabama community of women quilters launched nine new Etsy stores in honor of Black History Month

At the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan, Alaska, Nathan Jackson wears ceremonial blankets and a headdress made from ermine pelts, cedar, abalone shell, copper and flicker feathers.

Artisan America

How Native Artisans in Alaska Bring Innovation and Humor to Their Craft

In Indigenous communities along the coast, a lively artistic movement plays with tradition

Cotton coverlet quilted in Texas, 19th century.

Artisan America

The State of American Craft Has Never Been Stronger

Today’s craft renaissance is more than just an antidote to our over-automated world. It renews a way of life that made us who we are

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Artisan America

Artisan America

A year-long celebration of craft in the United States

Mary Lee Bendolph, Blocks and Strips, 2002

National Gallery of Art Adds 40 Works by Black Southern Artists to Its Collections

The "milestone" acquisition includes works by the Gee's Bend quilters, Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe and James "Son Ford" Thomas

A "crazy quilt"—a chaotic style without repeating features—by an unidentified 19th-century artist incorporates politicians' campaign banner portraits.

The Surprisingly Radical History of Quilting

Works on display in an Ohio exhibition highlight political art by marginalized people

In a typical year, the Columbus Washboard Company in Logan, Ohio, sells about 80,000 washboards.

Only One Factory in North America Still Makes Washboards, and They Are Flying Off of Shelves

Sales of the antique tools have boosted since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with people wanting to avoid a trip to the laundromat

In the ninth edition of the Renwick Invitational, artists Lauren Fensterstock, Timothy Horn (above: Gorgonia 12, 2016), Debora Moore and Rowland Ricketts offer viewers entrancing new perspectives on the natural world.

Nature and Artifice Collide at the 2020 Renwick Invitational

In an era of isolated anxiety, “Forces of Nature” offers room to breathe

The liberal arts college is home to the country’s longest continuously operating broomcraft workshop.

Artisan America

This Kentucky College Has Been Making Brooms for 100 Years

Berea College's broomcraft program carries on an American craft tradition that’s rarely practiced today

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