CALL FOR PAPERS: The Craft Museum: Ideals and Practice

March 13, 2015, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Keynote: Sir Christopher Frayling, former Rector, Royal College of Art

Paper submissions from senior and emerging museum professionals, scholars, and educators are invited for this symposium, which will examine the role of the craft museum in modern culture. Coinciding with the renovation of the Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian’s national craft museum, this program seeks a lively dialogue on craft’s institutional mission, and the execution of programming devoted to the collection, conservation, presentation, and study of craft. The issue of how to interpret the field of craft in a museum setting is increasingly urgent as the boundaries of its teaching, practice, reception, and the discipline’s very definition shift dramatically in the first quarter of the 21st century.

Potential topics include:

–       The museum as an engine of craft research and scholarship

–       Diversifying audiences for craft

–       Materiality and the digital museum

–       Viewing craft: new approaches to museum design

–       Evolving interpretations of skill

–       The conceptual turn in an aesthetic field

–       STEAM? Museums and craft education

–       Competing interpretations of craft in museums of art, anthropology, and archaeology

–       Museum citizenship, ethics, and the public trust

–       Interpretive and collection strategies for post-studio craft

–       The future of studio craft collections

–       The relationship between museums and the academy

–       Craft’s position within large institutions

–       The state of the dedicated craft institution

–       The history of craft museology

Please submit a 300-word abstract and short CV to Nicholas Bell, The Fleur and Charles Senior Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art, and Nora Atkinson, The Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, at Proposals are due by December 5, 2014. Applicants will be notified of their status by January 2, 2015. The symposium will be webcast.

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