AMERICA’S TRADITIONAL CRAFTS
This astonishing survey of American crafts from the early 1800s to the present reveals that craft objects often achieve fine-art levels of beauty, sophistication and originality. The focus is on functional objects, including intricate works in wrought iron, shorebird decoys, furniture, musical instruments, pantry boxes, rugs, stoneware, scrimshaw, leatherwork, Shaker tools and baskets, Amish quilts and Native American moccasins, dresses and quillwork. In his engaging text, Shaw, curator at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, provides valuable historical perspective by showing, for example, how craft co-operatives during the Depression revived and modified 19th-century rug-making techniques, or how African Americans and Native Americans adapted the European-American tradition of hand-carved walking sticks, adding features derived from their own iconographic customs. Anyone interested in crafts will want to own this extraordinary showcase of living traditions, illustrated with 310 color photographs.