The Good Making of Good Things / Craft Horizons Magazine 1941–1979

The Good Making of Good Things: Craft Horizons Magazine 1941–1979

During its nearly 40 years in print, Craft Horizons documented the craft movement as it happened. This exhibition pairs works from ASU Art Museum’s collection that were made by artists featured in the magazine with articles, reviews and letters from readers to illustrate the essential role Craft Horizons played in the development of craft in the United States from 1941–1979.

This exhibition is curated by the 2017 Center for Craft Curatorial Fellows Elizabeth Essner, Lily Kane and Meaghan Roddy and was originally organized by the Center for Craft. It is supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation as part of the Windgate Contemporary Craft Initiative at ASU Art Museum. 

That was the official description above. The real scoop is that Meaghan, one of the curators, is a good friend and I've been very excited to see this exhibition. So much so, that I jumped the gun a little and saw it before it was fully installed. Be that as it may, it was mostly up and I was fortunate to have ASU curator Garth Johnson walk me through it.

This is the second stop for the exhibition and this iteration includes mostly pieces from ASU's collection, which is substantial and pretty great.  Elizabeth, Lily, and Meaghan worked with Garth to put together a great exhibition. Pieces, like the Alice Parrott weaving above haven't seen the light of day in decades.

The Rolodex of longtime Craft Horizons editor Rose Slivka. She ran the show from 1959-1979, which really was one of the most exciting periods of craft. By the way, the card on the left is for Haystack.

Garth informed me that this Peter Voulkos almost got a curator fired. Rudy Turk was hired to transform ASU's collection, at the time it was mostly paintings and traditional "fine art", into a full-fledged museum. To the horror of the university's administration, Rudy purchased this Voulkos for $500. In retrospect, it was a damn good investment. Rudy was instrumental in building the museum's ceramic collection.    

This Rudy Autio is also part of the ASU collection.

Susan Peterson was one of the founders of the ASU Ceramics Research Center. She donated her archives and a collection of ceramics to them. This is a classic wax resist bowl by her.

Mary Levine ceramic bag. Her work always blows me away.

Russell Barnett Aitken. I wasn't familiar with him. Garth was excited about these being shown. They're from 1941 and obviously very political. He was influenced by Viktor Schreckengost and is grouped in with other "Jazz Age" artists. Russell served in WW II and married very well, a couple times. The last marriage was to Irene Roosevelt Aitken, the widow of John A. Roosevelt, youngest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. More information can be found at The Cleveland Museum of Art.

A rare ceramic piece by the influential Hopi jewelry artist, Charles Loloma. 

Speaking of jewelry, here is a piece by Ruth Radakovich. 

Ruth scored a Craft Horizons cover in 1957

Bob Stocksdale

Kay Sekimachi

Lenore Tawney (1959)

Norma Minkowitz, Sleeping bag wall hanging (1974)

I can't recommend this exhibition enough. The Ceramic Resource Center and gallery itself is also incredible. You can get a sample of what they have, here.

More information about the exhibition can be found here.