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Craft History in the Archives: Overview

Resource guide for American craft historical documentation in the Museum Archives.

Craft History

Craft histories focus on the stories and documentation of craft workers, practices, objects, and spaces. 

What is Craft?

Center for Craft, Asheville NC: 

"Craft is a particular approach to making with a strong connection to materials, skill, and process. Artists, makers, scholars, and curators continue to grow the field, embracing new definitions, technologies, and ideas while honoring craft's history and relationship to the handmade."

Glenn Adamson, The Invention of Craft:

"Whenever a skilled person makes something with their hands, that's craft."

Selected Readings from the Library Stacks

Craft History Resources in the Archives

The following record groups / collections contain documentation related to craft:

Building Operations

Decorative Arts and Design

Education Programming

Library Department Records

Curatorial Exhibition Files

Registrar's Exhibition Files

Louisiana Purchase Exposition Art Department Records - Applied Arts

St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts 

University City Pottery Research Collection

Selected American Craft Exhibitions

The following craft-related exhibitions occurred at the City Art Museum / Saint Louis Art Museum:

A Collection of Handicraft Work, June 1, 1913

Modern American Handicraft, assembled by the Dayton Art Institute, January 1-31, 1926

American Rooms in Miniature by Mrs. James Ward Thorne, April 8-June 20, 1944

Designer-Craftsmen U.S.A., July 15-August 15, 1953

The Artist/Craftsman, April 11-30, 1972

The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts, April 20-June 3, 1979

By Heart and Hand: American Folk Art from Missouri Collections, February 24-May 28, 1984

Hear My Quilt: 150 Years of African American Quilt Making, October 13, 1992-February 28, 1993

Contemporary Crafts and the Saxe Collection, December 17, 1993-February 13, 1994

Contact the Archivist

Profile Photo
Jenna Stout
She / Her
Archives Office
Richardson Memorial Library
South Building, 3rd Floor
(314) 655-5452