Beginning last spring, the Art History department's Exhibitions Class, under the direction of Professor Ann Smart Martin, put together an exhibition on 19th century crafts made by women and the contemporary objects that respond to them entitled "Handmade Meaning: The Value of Craft in Victorian and Contemporary Culture". Taught with the help of Martha Glowacki, director of the James Watrous Gallery, and Emily Pfotenhauer, Outreach Specialist with Wisconsin Heritage Online, and creator of the Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database, the class chose and researched the objects.
The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters' publication, Wisconsin People and Ideas, featured an article written about the exhibit, in which Emily lays out the collaborative process used to create this exhibit and some of the concepts found in the show, notably notions of nature, memory, community, and amateurism. Also in conjunction with with the exhibit is a blog which features more in-depth research on objects, related craft information and events, and the community art project that accompanies "Handmade Meaning". Thanks to Art graduate student Andrea Miller for coordinating this effort! Please take a look at the blog, and thanks to Design Studies graduate student Rebecca Keyel for creating and managing it!
Handmade Meaning: The Value of Craft in Victorian and Contemporary Culture
December 17, 2010 to February 6, 2011
James Watrous Gallery, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street