Books

We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection

We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection traces the rise of self-taught artists in the twentieth century and examines how, despite wide-ranging societal, racial, and gender-based obstacles, their creativity and bold self-definition became major forces in American art. The exhibition features recent gifts to the museum from two generations of collectors, Margaret Z. Robson and her son Douglas O. Robson.

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World  showcases American craft like never before. Accompanying a 2022 exhibition of the same name, it features artists’ stories of resilience, methods of activism, and highlights craft’s ability to spark essential conversations about race, gender, and representation

Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018

Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018 features essays written by the jurors that explore how each artist has used their chosen media to contribute beyond the confines of the art world.

Renwick Invitational 2016: Visions and Revisions

Visions and Revisions celebrates the work of four contemporary craft artists—Steven Young Lee, Kristen Morgin, Jennifer Trask, and Norwood Viviano. Artworks from each artist defy expectations as they meditate on decline and decay, resilience and rebirth. Visions and Revisionsfeatures an essay about each artist from authors Nora Atkinson, Suzanne Ramljak, and Anna Walker.

June Schwarcz: Invention & Variation

For more than sixty years, June Schwarcz (1918–2015) advanced the art of enameling—fusing glass to metal through a high-temperature firing process—while creating works that combine rich textures and luminous color.June Schwarcz: Invention & Variation celebrates this pioneering artist with fifty-nine full-color plates representing a wide selection of her work, from traditional vessels and boxes to wall-mounted panels and modernist sculpture.

Staged Stories: Renwick Craft Invitational 2009

Staged Stories: Renwick Craft Invitational 2009 showcases the talent of four exceptional artists: Christyl Boger, Mark Newport, Mary Van Cline, and SunKoo Yuh. Working in the traditional media of clay, fiber, and glass, these artists push their material to communicate in new ways.

History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011

Features four extraordinary artists whose work explores the deep roots of contemporary American craft and decorative arts: Ubaldo Vitali, Cliff Lee, Judith Schaechter, and Mathias Pliessnig. Authors Nicholas R. Bell, Ulysses Grant Dietz, and Andrew Wagner examine how each artist mines and transcends tradition.

Nation Building

Nation Building: Craft and Contemporary American Culture brings together twenty voices leading the current dialogue about critical craft studies.

Craft for a Modern World

Craft for a Modern World presents 150 of the Renwick Gallery’s 2,000 artworks in a new light, celebrating the restoration and reopening of its historic landmark home. Encouraging readers to find their own connections—as they have come to expect in today’s hyperlinked world—curator Nora Atkinson describes some of her associations among these artifacts of makers, both contemporary and pioneer. Readers can engage the artworks through subtle linkages in the color plates, which introduce related works in black and white. According to Atkinson, the artworks in this catalogue, many of them newly photographed, “are a playground for the mind.”

American Louvre

Designed by James Renwick Jr. in 1858, the building that houses the Renwick Gallery was the first in the United States conceived expressly as a public art museum.

40 Under 40: Craft Futures

40 Under 40: Craft Futures examines the expanding role of the handmade in contemporary culture through the work of the next generation of artists.

A Measure of the Earth

A Measure of the Earth provides an window into the traditional basketry revival of the past fifty years.

Skilled Work : American Craft in the Renwick Gallery

Published as a celebration of the Renwick Gallery’s twenty-fifth anniversary, this book masterfully illustrates the intellectual and tactile excitement found in American crafts. Photographs of exquisite clarity give this volume an optical effervescence. Each fiber, each woodgrain, each coil of rope has depth and dimension that tempt us to touch.

Going West! Quilts and Community

Often called the great corridor of America’s westward expansion, in the nineteenth century the Great Platte River Road carried wagon trains and settlers through Nebraska Territory to points farther west.

Studio Furniture

The eighty-four pieces of studio furniture owned by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum constitute one of the largest assemblages of American studio furniture in the nation.