Ezra Shales gave the Alumni Spotlight Lecture on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 6 pm. His talk was entitled “Keep the Research on Your Right: Teaching, Writing, and Curating as Tributaries.”

Ezra Shales (PhD 2007) is a Professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has authored essays for the Journal of Design History, Design and Culture, and the Journal of Modern Craft, on varied topics such as Victorian toys, the contemporary production of sanitary porcelain at the Kohler Company factory in Wisconsin, and the role of artisans in building the Empire State Building. His book, Made in Newark (Rutgers University Press, 2010), explores craft as an anchor of regional identity in progressive-era New Jersey.

In this talk, Shales reflected on his approach to research and his journey after receiving his PhD from Bard Graduate Center. Shales taught at Alfred University for eight years and has been teaching at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for the past four. He is active as a curator and will discuss organizing Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today for the Museum of Arts and Design (2015; National Museum of Women in the Arts, 2016), and O Pioneers! Women Ceramic Artists, 1925–1960 for the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum (2015). He also discussed current projects including a book on craft that focuses on the material wonders within our grasp, and preparing introductions to new editions of David Pye’s Nature and Aesthetics of Design (1964) and Nature and Art of Workmanship (1968).