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Choosing Craft explores the history and practice of American craft through the words of influential artists whose lives, work, and ideas have shaped the field. Editors Vicki Halper and Diane Douglas construct an anecdotal narrative that examines the post-World War II development of modern craft, which came of age alongside modernist painting and sculpture and was greatly influenced by them as well as by traditional and industrial practices.
The anthology is organized according to four activities that ground a professional life in craft--inspiration, training, economics, and philosophy. Halper and Douglas mined a wide variety of sources for their material, including artists' published writings, letters, journal entries, exhibition statements, lecture notes, and oral histories. The detailed record they amassed reveals craft's dynamic relationships with painting, sculpture, design, industry, folk and ethnic traditions, hobby craft, and political and social movements. Collectively, these reflections form a social history of craft.
Choosing Craft ultimately offers artists' writings and recollections as vital and vivid data that deserve widespread study as a primary resource for those interested in the American art form.