Craft, Community and the Material Culture of Place and Politics, 19th-20th Century
Craft practice has a rich history and remains vibrant, sustaining communities while negotiating cultures within local or international contexts. More than two centuries of industrialization have not extinguished handmade goods; rather, the broader force of industrialization has redefined and continues to define the context of creation, deployment and use of craft objects. With object study at the core, this book brings together a collection of essays that address the past and present of craft production, its use and meaning within a range of community settings from the Huron Wendat of colonial Quebec to the Girls’ Friendly Society of twentieth-century England. The making of handcrafted objects has and continues to flourish despite the powerful juggernaut of global industrialization, whether inspired by a calculated refutation of industrial sameness, an essential means to sustain a cultural community under threat, or a rejection of the imposed definitions by a dominant culture. The broader effects of urbanizing, imperial and globalizing projects shape the multiple contexts of interaction and resistance that can define craft ventures through place and time. By attending to the political histories of craft objects and their makers, over the last few centuries, these essays reveal the creative persistence of various hand mediums and the material debates they represented.
'Together, [the essays] bring fresh perspectives to the study of non-industrial craft in a fascinating variety of contexts during the 19th and 20th centuries, from the shores of Lake Ontario to the North Island of New Zealand; from colonial India to Colonial Revival collections in New Castle, Delaware; and rural County Donegal, Ireland to the West End of London. Collectively, the essays demonstrate that, across the globe, craft was deeply invested in modernity and vice versa.' Reviews in History