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.
Scholar and curator Elaine Levin publishes The History of American Ceramics: From Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms.
The Appalachian Center for Craft opens near Smithville, TN.
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.
"Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical" inaugurates the American Craft Museum's dramatic new space on West 53rd Street in New York.
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.
"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.
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.
Rozsika Parker's book on embroidery, The Subversive Stitch, explores how women have used needlework to express outrage.
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.
Creative Glass Center of America is established at Wheaton Village in Millville, NJ.
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.
"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.
The Museum of Modern Art's "Deconstructionist Architecture" exhibition cements the movement with work from Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, and Bernard Tschumi, among others.
Shepard Fairey creates the Andre the Giant Has a Posse street art and viral branding campaign as an experiment in phenomenology.
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.
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.
On his Victory Tour, Michael Jackson dons a crystal-studded glove that becomes an icon of personal adornment in the Decade of Glitz.
The Memphis design movement epitomizing colorful '80s style, as in Peter Shire's Bel Air armchair (above) is spoofed in the film Ruthless People.
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.
The New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abram hits the airwaves and brings the techniques of a master craftsman into living rooms everywhere.
Metalsmith magazine begins publication as a subscription and newsstand quarterly, produced by SNAG.
American Craft Museum director Paul J. Smith curates "Jewelry USA" at the museum. A version of the show tours extensively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Andrew Hoyem, director of Arion Press, buys M&H Type Foundry, the last remaining major metal-type foundry, as other type foundries are scrapped.
Wendell Castle opens a woodworking and furniture design school in Scottsville, NY. In 1988, the school becomes part of Rochester Institute of Technology.
Pritam & Eames opens as a gallery devoted exclusively to studio furniture.
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.
Sam Maloof is awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the first American craftsman so honored.
"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.
"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.
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
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
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.
Amanda Degener and Michael Durgin publish the first issue of Hand Papermaking magazine.
~Tom Bannister, Beltsville, MD
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