January 31, 2008

Art historian to discuss American craft movement

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Art historian Diane Douglas brings her expertise on the American craft movement to Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Douglas will present a lecture beginning at 7 p.m. in Browne Auditorium highlighting her research with independent scholar Vicki Halper. Douglas is the executive director of CityClub, a civic organization in Seattle, Wash., and is a past director at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Wash.

The two scholars conducted a social history of the American craft movement from 1945 to 2000, culminating in the forthcoming sourcebook, "Choosing Craft: A History in Artists' Words." The book is a social history of craft artists, and touches on topics including artistic medium, education and tradition. Artists discuss other factors that may impact their work, such as gender, regionalism and technology. Douglas and Halper used writings from craft artists or transcriptions of their words as a basis for the sourcebook, which is expected in 2008 from the University of North Carolina Press. The sourcebook is the first of its kind on this topic.

Douglas will talk about her research and the conclusions drawn from it. She is at SIUC through the School of Art and Design as part of the Visiting Artist program.