Watch Day 1 on YouTube.
Watch Day 2 on YouTube.

Inspired by the British designer, craftsman, poet, and socialist William Morris (1834–98), the Arts and Crafts movement was a varied and ambitious set of values and practices reacting against mid-nineteenth-century industrialization, capitalism, and imperialism. It asserted the social value of making, challenged the hierarchy of fine and decorative arts, defended the livelihoods of artisans, and promoted the preservation of skilled knowledge. But the ambition, pugnacity, and passion of the Arts and Crafts movement was not limited to a single place or time. Although Arts and Crafts is often regarded as quintessentially British, its setting within the context of empire cannot be ignored, nor can its vexed relation to the very systems of globalizing power that were its central concerns. This symposium takes a topic and a figure familiar to all audiences of traditional decorative arts and design, but opens these to a radically new, global, diverse, and innovative perspective.

Schedule: Thursday, December 14

9–9:10 am Welcome and Introductions

9:10–9:30 am Introduction: As It Is and As It Might Be

As It Is and As It Might Be: Historiography and Future Directions of Global Arts and Crafts
Antonia Behan

9:30–10:30 am Session 1: The Art of the People: Mingei its Colonial Legacies

From Eternal Beauty to Artistic Individuality: Arts and Crafts, Colonialism, and the Ceramics of Tomimoto Kenkichi and Hamada Shōji
Meghen Jones, Alfred University

How ‘Pure’ Can a Crafted Work Be? A Post-Colonial View of the ‘International Arts and Crafts’ from a Taiwanese Perspective
Louise Yu-Jui Yang, University of York

10:30–11 am Coffee

11 am–12:30 pm Session 2: The Past is Not Dead: Central Europe and the Caucasus

The Arts & Crafts in Central Europe 1880-1930
Paul Stirton, Bard Graduate Centre

To Tiflis and Beyond: Julijs Straume and Arts and Crafts in the Caucasus
Sohee Ryuk, Columbia University

The Turn Yet Again? Arts and Crafts Resonance in New Design from Central Europe
Michał Burdziński, Silesian Museum in Katowice

12:30–2 pm Break

2–2:45 pm Tour of SIGHTLINES: on Peace, Power & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa (Bard Graduate Center Gallery)

3–3:30 pm Session 3: How Shall We Live, Then?: Economies and Education
“It is better to help them help themselves”: Craft Development Projects with the Florida
Seminole, 1930s–1960s
Amanda Thompson, Bard Graduate Center

3:30–4 pm Coffee

4–5 pm Hopes and Fears: Discussion
Respondent: Wendy Kaplan, LACMA
Schedule: Friday, December 15
9–9:10 am Welcome and Introductions

9:10–10:30 am Session 4: The Earthly Paradise: Narrating Labour and Materials

Of Making, Makers and Magic: The Politics of Skillful Doing in Narratives of Enchantment
Siddharth Pandey, Fellow in Global Humanities, Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study ‘Global Dis:connect’ (LMU), Munich

Truth to Global Resource Flows: An Ecocritical Perspective on Arts and Crafts Materials
Kaja Ninnis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

10:30–11 am Coffee

11 am–12:30 pm Session 5: The Last Gift: Tradition, Change, and Collecting in the Middle East and Silk Road

Tradition and Modernity in the Middle East: Observations on the Production of Decorated Metalwork during and after World War I
Marcus Milwright, University of York

William Arnold Stewart’s arts and crafts teaching in Egypt, 1911–1930
Aurélie Petiot, University of Paris Nanterre

Silk Road Expeditions in their Arts and Crafts Context
Michelle C. Wang, Georgetown University

12:30–2 pm Break

2–3:30 pm Session 6: The Aims of Art: Arts and Crafts and Political Claims

“A terrible beauty is born”: Craft and Revolution in Ireland
Joseph McBrinn, Belfast School of Art, Ulster University

Māori Arts and Crafts in Aotearoa New Zealand 1890-1940: An Indigenous legacy in the South Pacific?
Conal MacCarthy, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University Wellington

3:30–4 pm Coffee

4–5 pm Signs of Change: Discussion
Respondent: Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Yale University
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