“An ongoing exhibition of the Museum of Arts and Design’s (MAD) growing permanent collection of more than 3,500 objects, Craft Front & Center will feature a fresh installation of more than 60 historic works and new acquisitions dating from the golden age of the American Craft movement to the present day. Organized into themes of material transformation, dismantling hierarchies, contemplation, identity, and sustainability, the exhibition illuminates how the expansive field of craft has broadened definitions of art. Craft Front & Center opens on February 4, 2023.
Established at the Museum’s beginning in 1956, MAD’s permanent collection was the vision of Museum founder Aileen Osborne Webb, the collector and philanthropist who pioneered an understanding of craft and the handmade as a creative driving force of art and design. With the aim of broadening access to the collection’s holdings, the multiyear exhibition will showcase the value of the handmade in the display of contemporary works and recent acquisitions. Craft Front & Center will be updated periodically with new displays of rarely seen works and recent additions, as well as serve as inspiration for hands-on workshops and off-site field trips.” — MAD
Installation views of Craft Front & Center at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York (February 4, 2023 to January 14, 2024). Photos by Jenna Bascom; courtesy the Museum of Arts and Design.
“This is the first long-term exhibition of the permanent collection since MAD opened its doors at our home in Columbus Circle in 2008,” said Elissa Auther, MAD’s Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator. “Inspired by the Museum’s radical, founding mission to champion craft as central to the advancement of art, the exhibition expands the story of craft conventionally told by scholars and museums and makes the case for the relevance of the handmade in culture and society today.”
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