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 Castle, Dale Chihuly, Robert Ebendorf, David Ellsworth, Sheila Hicks, Karen LaMonte, Beth Lipman, Sam 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.
Born in Emporia, Kansas, Wendell Castle earned a B.F.A. degree in sculpture in 1958 and an M.F.A. in industrial design in 1961 at the University of Kansas.
Born in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly studied with Harvey Littleton, founder of the studio glass movement, at the University of Wisconsin and received an M.F.A. degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1968.
An eclectic jeweler and metalsmith, Robert Ebendorf was born in Topeka, Kansas. He earned a B.F.A. degree in 1958 and an M.F.A. in 1963 at the University of Kansas.
David Ellsworth received his MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973. Eight years earlier, he had studied architecture for a year at Washington University, St. Louis.
Glass artist Beth Lipman is renowned for her sculptural compositions which recreate the bounty and visual sumptuousness of Renaissance and Baroque still-life paintings, particularly 17th-century Dutch scenes.
Born in Chino, California, Sam Maloof is a 1934 graduate of Chino High School. He worked as a graphic artist before being encouraged by his wife to pursue woodworking.
Albert Paley earned B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in 1966 and 1969 respectively.
Born in Chicago, Larry Fuente studied at the Kansas City Art Institute from 1967 to 1968, after which he followed friends to California.
Painter, stained glass designer. Among his many commissions, decoration of the Trinity Church in Boston placed La Farge at the forefront of the American Arts and Crafts movement.