1981

Garth Clark

Garth Clark (here with Beatrice Wood) opens his ceramic art gallery opposite the L.A. County Museum of Art. A second space opens in New York.

1988

Pipkins and Bean Pots

Scholar and curator Elaine Levin publishes The History of American Ceramics: From Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms.

1980

Appalachian Center for Craft

The Appalachian Center for Craft opens near Smithville, TN.

1981

Kentucky Crafts

The Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation (now the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft) is launched in Louisville by the state's first lady, former Miss America Phyllis George Brown.

1986

American Craft Museum's New Digs

"Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical" inaugurates the American Craft Museum's dramatic new space on West 53rd Street in New York.

1987

The Eloquent Object

The Philbrook Museum of Art (OK) launches "The Eloquent Object," a touring exhibition of 200 works in various craft mediums created since World War II.

1982

Magdalena Abakanowicz

"Magdalena Abakanowicz," curated by Mary Jane Jacob and celebrating the artist's ominous mass-figural work, opens at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art and travels to six other venues.

1982

Basketweaving

Mary Jackson begins showing her sweetgrass baskets, which continue a 300-year-old tradition begun in West Africa. John Garrett, Jane Sauer, Norma Minkowitz, Pat Hickman, Gyongy Laky, and Patrick Dougherty take basketweaving in new directions.

1984

The Subversive Stitch

Rozsika Parker's book on embroidery, The Subversive Stitch, explores how women have used needlework to express outrage.

1982

Libensk and Brychtov

Czech artists Stanislav Libensk and Jaroslava Brychtov are invited as artists in residence at Pilchuck. The pair's mastery of the specialized aesthetics and technology of mold-melted glass will have a far-reaching impact on glass sculpture.

1983

Creative Glass Center

Creative Glass Center of America is established at Wheaton Village in Millville, NJ.

1984

Higher Standards for Studio Glass

In the catalogue for the third and final "Americans in Glass" exhibition at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum (WI), organizer David Huchthausen calls for higher critical standards for studio glass, causing a stir.

1981

Jean-Michel Basquiat

"The Radiant Child," an article on bad-boy painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, is published in Artforum magazine and brings the quintessential neo-expressionist exponent into the consciousness of the art world.

1988

Deconstructionist Architecture

The Museum of Modern Art's "Deconstructionist Architecture" exhibition cements the movement with work from Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, and Bernard Tschumi, among others.

1989

Andre the Giant Has a Posse

Shepard Fairey creates the Andre the Giant Has a Posse street art and viral branding campaign as an experiment in phenomenology.

1981

Reagan gets a Maloof

A walnut rocker by Sam Maloof is donated to President Reagan and his family for use in their private quarters at the White House. Maloof's appeal is bipartisan; President Carter and President Clinton are also fans.

1983

Risky Business

A Steuben crystal egg (or, as one character dubs it, some glass artsy-fartsy thing) co-stars with Tom Cruise in the megahit Risky Business.

1984

Michael Jackson's Studded Glove

On his Victory Tour, Michael Jackson dons a crystal-studded glove that becomes an icon of personal adornment in the Decade of Glitz.

1986

Memphis

The Memphis design movement epitomizing colorful '80s style, as in Peter Shire's Bel Air armchair (above) is spoofed in the film Ruthless People.

1987

AIDS Memorial Quilt

The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is exhibited for first time on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. By 2010 it consists of more than 46,000 panels commemorating 91,000 lives lost.

1989

New Yankee Workshop

The New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abram hits the airwaves and brings the techniques of a master craftsman into living rooms everywhere.

1980

Metalsmith

Metalsmith magazine begins publication as a subscription and newsstand quarterly, produced by SNAG.

1984

Jewelry USA

American Craft Museum director Paul J. Smith curates "Jewelry USA" at the museum. A version of the show tours extensively.

1988

CAD-CAM Jewelry

Stanley Lechtzin of Tyler School of Art sparks controversy at a SNAG conference, advocating CAD-CAM as an important new medium. The department at Tyler changes its name to Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM.

1982

Columbia's Fine Printing Conference

Columbia University's School of Library Service sponsors the Fine Printing Conference with an exhibition and book fair. An active book-arts community begins to coalesce at the meeting.

1983

Japanese Papermaking

Timothy Barrett publishes Japanese Papermaking: Traditions, Tools, and Techniques, based on his research travels. He later leads efforts to produce conservation-sound papers while at the University of Iowa and is recognized as a MacArthur Fellow in 2009.

1984

Structure of the Visual Book

Keith Smith publishes Structure of the Visual Book, the first of his books that picture, instruct, and interpret non-traditional bookmaking and suggest the endless artistic possibilities of the book form.

1985

UA Tuscaloosa

The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa launches its MFA program in book arts. It remains the U.S. program most closely identified with a high level of craft.

1989

M&H Type Foundry

Andrew Hoyem, director of Arion Press, buys M&H Type Foundry, the last remaining major metal-type foundry, as other type foundries are scrapped.

1980

Wendell Castle's School

Wendell Castle opens a woodworking and furniture design school in Scottsville, NY. In 1988, the school becomes part of Rochester Institute of Technology.

1981

Pritam & Eames

Pritam & Eames opens as a gallery devoted exclusively to studio furniture.

1985

Arrowmont Woodturning Conference

The Arrowmont conference on woodturning takes place in Gatlinburg, TN, and inspires the establishment of the American Association of Woodturners and the Wood Turning Center the next year.

1985

Maloof gets a MacArthur

Sam Maloof is awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the first American craftsman so honored.

1985

Material Evidence

"Material Evidence: New Color Techniques in Handmade Furniture," organized by Workbench Gallery and the Renwick Gallery, showcases furniture made with Formica Corp.'s ColorCore, bringing color and postmodern style to the furniture world.

1989

New American Furniture

"New American Furniture: The Second Generation of Studio Furnituremakers" opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and studio furniture is further embraced by the fine art world.

1989

SAQA

Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. is founded by artist Yvonne Porcella (above). Today the organization boasts nearly 3,000 members, and sponsors catalogs, conferences, and a dozen art quilt exhibits in museums and art centers around the country each year.
~Martha Sielman, Storrs, CT

1983

MOCFA

The San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum (now the Museum of Craft and Folk Art) opens in a private residence near Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The permanent collection was de-accessioned in 1991, with 75% of the work being placed in other educational instutitions. The organization is now a non-collecting museum with a focus on exhibitions.
~Gertrud Parker, San Francisco

1980

Folk Art Center

A cooperative effort between the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the National Park Service, and the Appalachian Regional Commissio, the Folk Art Center opens near Asheville, North Carolina. The center, focused on Appalachian arts and crafts, has three galleries, a library, and an auditorium, in addition to being the home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

1986

Hand Papermaking Magazine

Amanda Degener and Michael Durgin publish the first issue of Hand Papermaking magazine.
~Tom Bannister, Beltsville, MD

1985

Craft Emergency Relief Fund

Carol Sedestrom Ross (then president of American Craft Enterprises) and glassblower Josh Simpson start the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) to help artists affected by natural disasters. In 2010 the organization changes its name to CERF+ to reflect its growing educational role in artist emergency preparedness.
~Craig Nutt, Montpelier, VT