At the center of the United States’ economic and social development, according to conventional wisdom, are industry, commodities, and technology—while craftspeople and handmade objects are relegated to a bygone past. In Craft: An American History, renowned craft historian and curator Glenn Adamson turns that narrative on its head, revealing how makers have always been central to America’s identity. Examine any phase of the nation’s struggle to define itself, and artisans are there—from the silversmith Paul Revere and the revolutionary carpenters and blacksmiths who hurled tea into Boston Harbor, to today’s “craftivists.” From Mother Jones to Rosie the Riveter. From Betsy Ross to the AIDS Quilt.
Adamson documents how craft has long been implicated in debates around inequality, education, and class, as well as America’s failures to live up to its loftiest ideals. Yet artisanship has also been a site of resistance for oppressed people, such as enslaved African Americans whose skilled labor might confer hard-won agency under bondage, or the Native American makers who built traditional arts into businesses that preserved cherished folkways.
Adamson will be interviewed by Norman Teague, founder of Chicago-based Norman Teague Design Studio.
This event will be recorded and available later on the FAN website and our YouTube channel.
AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Craft: An American History from FAN's partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Adamson and Teague that will start immediately after the webinar. Copy and paste this link to purchase the book: https://www.thebookstall.com/event/craft-american-history-fan-event
The link to register for the AFTER-HOURS will appear in red font at the top of your email receipt.
NOTE: FAN collects registration data to inform event planning.