Jurors Jeff Schlanger, Robert Turner, and Peter Voulkos shock applicants to the decades-old "Ceramic National" exhibition by rejecting all slides submitted, pointing to a rift between amateurs and professionals, and sparking a debate about elitism.
Jim Melchert performs his conceptual work Changes: A Performance with Drying Slip, in which he and art and design colleagues dip their heads in liquid clay and sit in a studio cooled at one end, heated at the other, to experience the effects of slip drying.
The Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museums showcase for craft, opens.
Helen Williams Drutt develops the first college-level course on modern craft history. In 1974, the Helen Drutt Gallery opens as one of the first U.S. showcases devoted to contemporary craft.
The Craft and Folk Art Museum, founded by Edith R. Wyle (grandmother of actor Noah Wyle), opens in L.A.
The Bellevue Arts Museum (WA) is founded by the Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Association.
The ACC chooses its first College of Fellows winners, 17 in all. By 2011, more than 300 artists demonstrating mastery for at least 25 years will have been honored.
A Smithsonian branch since 1968, the Cooper-Hewitt (now Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum) reopens in the newly renovated Andrew Carnegie mansion in New York.
The ACC drops an s, becoming today's American Craft Council. In turn, Craft Horizons becomes American Craft. In 1980, Lois Moran becomes editor in chief, guiding the magazine for the next 26 years.
ACC founder Aileen Osborn Webb, visionary craft advocate and patron, dies at age 87.
Gerhardt Knodel becomes artist in residence in fiber at Cranbrook, sparking worldwide interest in cloth as an essential part of history. He becomes Cranbrook director in 1996.
"Deliberate Entanglements," large-scale fabric sculptures curated by Bernard Kester, opens at the UCLA Art Galleries.
Julie: Artisans Gallery, the first gallery devoted to handmade clothing as an art form, opens in Manhattan. Owner Julie Schafler Dale publishes the lavish Art to Wear in 1986.
The Bead Journal (later Ornament) publishes its first issue.
What will become the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles launches in San Jose, CA, as part of a boom in art-quilts. Nancy Crow, Rosie Lee Tompkins, and Michael James set the pace.
Building on Ed Rossbach’s presence as a textiles powerhouse at UC-Berkeley, two new centers of education launch: Fiberworks and Pacific Basin School of Textile Arts. California College of Arts and Crafts is a fourth spoke in the Bay Area fiber hub.
Pilchuck Glass School is founded in Stanwood, WA, by artist Dale Chihuly, his students, and benefactors John H. and Anne Gould Hauberg.
James Carpenter and Dale Chihuly create the mixed-media installation 20,000 Pounds of Ice and Neon in Providence, RI.
Using techniques learned while a Fulbright scholar at Venice's Venini & Co., Californian Richard Marquis (with Robert Naess and other friends) produces the entire text of The Lord's Prayer in a single murrine cane formed of assembled, fused, and pulled glass.
Checco Ongaro demonstrates Italian glassmaking at Pilchuck. Next year, his brother-in-law, Lino Tagliapietra (above), teaches there. The Italian influence will eventually transform the way that American glass artists view, make, and teach glass.
The Corning Museum of Glass sums up the international state of glass art and design in "New Glass: A Worldwide Survey." The exhibition travels internationally and encourages the growth of studio glass in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
Robert Smithson creates Spiral Jetty, a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide coil of basalt rocks and soil, in Utah's Great Salt Lake. It becomes a major landmark, literally and figuratively, in the new medium of earth art.
New York painter Julian Schnabel begins his plate paintings, canvases covered in broken crockery, becoming a poster boy for postmodernism.
This Old House premieres on WGBH in Boston and introduces America to the joys of restoring handcrafted homes.
Back to the land: Dawn of a golden decade for crafts, high and low. While serious craft artists flourish, so does their bane, the macramÈ plant holder.
Carole King's introspective Tapestry is one of the year's top-selling albums, its title song a paean to a textile of wondrous woven magic. Seeing the cover photo, women long to sit by a window with cat and needlework.
With Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men, a how-to book by the football star, fiber art gets some macho cred.
Chinese farmers stumble upon ceramic shards of what becomes known as the Terracotta Army. Archeologists ultimately unearth about 8,000 life-size soldier figures, each unique, dating back 2,200 years.
Joan Mondale, potter and lover of things handmade, promotes studio craft on the national stage as the vice president's wife, earning the nickname "Joan of Art."
The Dinner Party, a monumental ceramic and fiber installation by feminist artist Judy Chicago depicting place settings for famous women in history and mythology, begins its high-profile international tour. Chicago's revisionist history hits a nerve and roils the critics.
Society of North American Goldsmiths hosts its first conference, drawing about 100 metalsmiths. The SNAG exhibition "Goldsmith 70" shows at NY's Museum of Contemporary Crafts.
L. Brent Kington, metalsmith and teacher, organizes a workshop on the little-practiced art of blacksmithing, drawing about 50 people, many complete novices. Teachers add forges at their schools; blacksmithing begins a resurgence.
The Artist-Blacksmith's Association of America is formed.
Albert Paley installs his Portal Gates at the Renwick. Architectural blacksmithing rebounds from near oblivion and Paley is its new star.
The National Ornamental Metal Museum (now the Metal Museum) is founded in Memphis.
Heikki Seppä’s Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths is published, expanding the vocabulary of sculptural forms in the medium.
Joan Lyons founds VSW Press at Visual Studies Workshop, the first of the artist-run offset presses that power the rise of multiple bookworks. In 40 years VSW Press publishes more than 450 artists books and art criticism.
Kathryn (pictured) and Howard Clark establish Twinrocker, the first production-based handmade paper mill in the U.S. since the late 1920s.
Walter Hamady publishes the first of his Interminable Gabberjabbs, a series of books whose content, format, and materials tweak book conventions while showcasing exceptional craft.
Richard Minsky founds the Center for Book Arts in New York.
While a visiting artist at Twinrocker, Claire Van Vliet develops paper pulp painting, first seen in the book Aura.
Book conservator Hedi Kyle creates April Diary, inventing the elegant flag book structure since used by countless book artists.
The Wharton Esherick Museum opens in Paoli, PA.
“Woodenworks: Furniture Objects by Five Contemporary Craftsmen,” featuring work by Wharton Esherick, George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, and Wendell Castle, opens at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.
With Tage Frid as a contributing editor, Fine Woodworking magazine launches and quickly becomes the journal of record for wood.
James Krenov's A Cabinetmaker's Notebook is published and becomes poetic inspiration for many makers.
Surface Design Journal begins publishing.
The Woodwright's Shop with Roy Underhill premieres on a North Carolina station, and champions of hand tools and traditional construction techniques rejoice. It becomes the longest-running how-to show on PBS.
The Crafts Report, Interweave, Fiberarts launch, among a number of other craft magazines.
Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY, organizes "A Century of Ceramics in the United States: 1878–1978," curated by Garth Clark and Margie Hughto (with accompanying book). It travels for two years.