Research, writing, and publishing of the first comprehensive history of 20th Century U.S. Studio Craft is a multi-year project that was identified in 2002, by a national advisory group, as the highest priority initiative to advance craft in academia and the curatorial worlds.
The history, Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, by Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf, addresses a conspicuous oversight in art history. No comprehensive survey on twentieth century craft history exists, and the Koplos/Metcalf volume will help introduce undergraduates and graduate students, in both humanities and art curricula, to the vast depth of the subject. The authors provide a chronological framework with explorations into general thematic trends and specific sorts of media histories within each decade, looking synchronically and diachronically at issues such as education, publications, exhibition venues, and marketing in a rich stew that links the Smith-Hughes Act and the GI Bill, The Studio with Craft Horizons, the international exhibitions of the turn of the previous century with contemporary museum exhibitions.
The scholarly research and writing, a four-year project, and the obtaining of the rights to reproduce the 500 images, has been undertaken under the auspices of the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design (CCCD), a regional center of the University of North Carolina, with support from the Windgate Foundation. It is being published by the University of North Carolina Press. The book can serve as text for a course that would meet art history requirements for studio majors but is also applicable to American Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and American History.