History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011

History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011 presents the work of silversmith Ubaldo Vitali, ceramic artist Cliff Lee, glass artist Judith Schaechter, and furnituremaker Matthias Pliessnig. These four extraordinary artists create works of superior craftsmanship that that combine historical techniques with contemporary forms.The artists in this exhibition were chosen by Nicholas R. Bell, curator at the museum’s Renwick Gallery; Ulysses Dietz, senior curator and curator of decorative arts at The Newark Museum; and Andrew Wagner, editor-in-chief of ReadyMade magazine. Bell is the curator of the exhibition. It is the fifth in the museum’s biennial series, intended to celebrate artists deserving of wider national recognition.


The 2011 Renwick Craft Invitational is dedicated to the memory of Melvin S. Cohen, who died January 19, 2011, in recognition of his commitment to the arts, American craft, and his community.

Visiting Information

March 24, 2011 July 30, 2011
Open Daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m
Free Admission


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.


The Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation Endowment provides generous support for History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011. The Cohen Family's generosity in creating this endowment makes possible this biennial series highlighting outstanding craft artists who are deserving of wider national recognition.

Online Gallery


Cliff Lee
born Vienna, Austria 1951

Cliff Lee was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1951, where his father was stationed as ambassador.

Matthias Pliessnig
born New Orleans, LA 1978
Judith Schaechter
born Gainesville, FL 1961
Ubaldo Vitali
born Rome, Italy 1944