By contrasting American experience with the Canadian context, which includes a unique Quebec identity and a Native dimension, Sandra Alfoldy argues that the development of organizations, advanced education for craftspeople, and exhibition and promotional opportunities have contributed to the distinct evolution of professional craft in Canada over the past forty years. Alfoldy focuses on 1964-74 and the debates over distinctions between professional, self-taught, and amateur craftspeople and between one-of-a-kind and traditional craft objects. She deals extensively with key people and events, including American philanthropist Aileen Osborn Webb and Canadian philanthropist Joan Chalmers, the foundation of the World Crafts Council (1964) and the Canadian Crafts Council (1974), the Canadian Fine Crafts exhibition at Expo 67, and the In Praise of Hands exhibition of 1974. Drawing upon a wealth of previously unexploited materials, this richly documented survey includes descriptions and illustrations of significant works and identifies the challenges that lie ahead for professional crafts in Canada.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
"Alfoldy impressively outlines the shift in Canadian craft ideology towards a professionalism that looked toward modernism and included a demonstrable awareness of the larger conceptual concerns shared by the fine arts community. She discusses the significant developments in craft education and sensitively considers the inclusions and exclusions of Native art. Crafting Identity will be of interest to anyone who creates, teaches, studies, writes about, exhibits, and collects Canadian craft and contemporary Canadian art." Ellen Easton McLeod, author of In Good Hands: The Women of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild
"A richly documented survey of the key events and players that led to the development of Canadian professional craft in recent years." Gerald Pocius, Centre for Material Culture Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland
"This book covers a huge area of unused material and contains the first bibliography for organizations, events, and personalities. This will form a basic text for scholars and students in a neglected but growing scholarly field." Sandra Flood, artist