The Renwick Gallery opened its doors fifty years ago on January 28, 1972, to showcase the ingenuity and relevance of craft and design in American culture. Over the years the museum has featured many expressions and definitions of craft. Today, the Renwick continues to showcase the creativity of American artists who push the boundaries of the handmade while making the museum a welcome space for all and one representative of all people.
Some artworks, like masks and protest banners, serve the immediate needs of the present. Others cast new light on the past, sharing previously untold stories and reframing histories. Many artworks inspire a responsibility to the future, showing how craft can restore relationships to the environment and build coalitions across differences. Every object offers the presence of the artist, revealing the radical and tender possibilities of the hand to craft a better world.
Featured artists include Bisa Butler, Daniel Brush, Nick Cave, David Chatt, Kelly Church, Cristina Cordova, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Cindy Drozda, Alicia Eggert, J. Paul Fennell, Susie Ganch, Aram Han Sifuentes, Carla Hemlock (Kanienkeháka), Sharon Kerry-Harlan, Ron Ho, Katie Hudnall, Pat Kramer, Steven Young Lee, Linda Lopez, Roberto Lugo, Tom Loeser, John Mascoll, Connie Mississippi, Virgil Ortiz, George Rodriguez, Judith Schaechter, Preston Singletary (Tlingit), April Surgent, Gail Tremblay, Wanxin Zhang, and many more.
“The artwork being crafted and collected now is shaping an even bolder future, one that will help us better understand ourselves, each other and the world around us. The Renwick Gallery will continue to be a driving force in this conversation.”
---Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director
Many of the works currently on view were featured in the anniversary exhibition This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World. A dedicated gallery features the recent gift from Judith Chernoff and Jeffrey Bernstein of 43 works from their collection of sculptural wood art.