Contemporary Craft and Decorative Arts

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Debra Baxter, Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty), 2015, quartz crystal and sterling silver, Smithsonian American Art Museum

The museum’s collection of contemporary American craft is considered one of the finest in the United States.

Major works by well-established craft masters, such as Wendell CastleDale ChihulyRobert EbendorfDavid EllsworthSheila HicksKaren LaMonteBeth LipmanSam Maloof, and Albert Paley, as well as objects by up-and-coming artists, are featured. Jewelry, studio furniture, and wood art make up a significant part of the collection. A longtime favorite among Renwick visitors is Larry Fuente’s Game Fish, an assemblage of game pieces in the form of a trophy fish.

Decorative arts in the collection range from the colonial period to the Gilded Age and beyond. Highlights include gorgeous stained glass windows by John La Farge and a commemorative piano decorated by Thomas Wilmer Dewing, originally presented by Steinway & Sons to the White House.

View the online bookstore for more books on Contemporary Craft and Decorative Arts.