Visiting Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion?

You must join the virtual exhibition queue when you arrive. If capacity has been reached for the day, the queue will close early.

Learn more

Press release

One of a Kind: The Studio Craft Movement

Exhibition Dates: December 22, 2006 – December 2, 2007
Exhibition Location: Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, Design and Architecture Gallery

The studio craft movement developed in the U.S. during the years after World War II and has flourished internationally over the past 40 years. During this period, craft artists have experimented with non-traditional materials and new techniques, producing bold, abstract, and sculptural art, as well as continuing to make utilitarian objects. One of a Kind: The Studio Craft Movementon view from December 22, 2006, through December 2, 2007, features approximately 50 works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection and will include furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, jewelry, and fiber. Many of these works have never been on view at the Metropolitan before, and several are recent acquisitions by the Museum.

One of a Kind will feature works by 47 artists, including such established figures as Ken Price, Robert Arneson, Wharton Esherick, Albert Paley, Ed Rossbach, and Ruth Duckworth, as well as younger artists such as Kyung-hee Hong, Axel Russmeyer, and Bonnie Seeman. In the studio craft movement, artists are directly involved in the actual process of making the object, not just conception and design. The handmade "woven walls" of Olga de Amaral (b. 1932) are remarkable for their technical finesse and their deeply felt references to the artist's native Colombia. In her intricate tapestry of silver leaf, the richly embellished ultramarine blue and silver strips are reminiscent of the rivers and waterfalls of her country. The work of Kyohei Fujita (Japanese, 1921–2004) bridges contemporary craft and the Japanese decorative art tradition. Fujita's striking use of color and contrasting metallic inclusions relate to the lacquer boxes (casuri bako) that are part of the Japanese tea ceremony, yet the abstract pattern and simple form is unmistakably modern.

Studio craft works are often notable for their sense of humor and their provocative forms. The chests and cabinets of John Cederquist (American, b. 1946) combine playful trompe l'oeil with highly skilled traditional craftsmanship that is both contemporary and functional. The carefully constructed veneers of his furniture create the appearance of a three-dimensional surface that conceals the birch plywood substructure. Bonnie Seeman (American, b. 1969) evokes the naturalistic vegetable forms of mid-18th-century British ceramic manufacturers with her bright porcelain coffeepot. The artist plays with contemporary themes of attraction and repulsion through forms that first appear to represent rhubarb and cabbage leaves, but, on closer look, suggests human tissue and bone.

One of a Kind is organized by Jane Adlin, Associate Curator in the Metropolitan's Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art.

The exhibition will also be featured on the Museum's Web site,

# # #

July 12, 2007

Press resources