American Craft, Design, and Folk Art in the 1920s and 1930s


Fall 2012


5th Floor Classroom


Catherine Whalen

This seminar explores the intersection of design, craft, and folk art in the United States during the interwar years, specifi­cally focusing on converging and diverging conceptions of these categories of cultural production. Topics addressed include the interrelationship of modernism and antimod­ernism; mass vs. limited or one-off produc­tion; the amateur/professional divide; and canon and discipline formation, including the role of collectors, museums, educa­tional institutions, and government agencies. Particular attention will be paid to issues of nationalism and internationalism, social movements, and popular culture. Sources considered include objects, exhibition catalogues, period writings, and recent criti­cism. Student visits to museum collections are required. 3 credits.