Five Fun Finds in the American Craft Council Archives

Five Fun Finds in the American Craft Council Archives

October is American Archives Month, and we're sharing some of our favorite finds.

Creative Casting exhibition catalog

"Creative Casting," exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Crafts

ACC Archives

October is American Archives Month, and we’re celebrating in the American Craft Council Library & Archives by sharing some surprising finds in our archival collections that document the history of contemporary American craft.


Publicity appearance for "Body Covering" exhibition on NBC's the Johnny Carson Show

Modeling of an Alice Edeling outfit on NBC's the Johnny Carson Show for the "Body Covering" exhibition
Some of the most engaging and frequently used materials to be found in the ACC Archives are the exhibition materials from the Museum of Contemporary Crafts/American Craft Museum collection. The MCC/ACM collection contains exhibition catalogues, press releases, installation images, research materials, correspondence, and the occasional celebrity sighting. This image with Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson, and Joan Rivers was discovered in the material from the 1968 exhibition “Body Covering.” It was taken during a publicity segment on the Johnny Carson Show.

Joan Mondale at the ACC Winter Market

Joan Mondale at the ACC Winter Market
Perhaps the most well-known member of the ACC board of directors was Joan Mondale, and this is by far our favorite photo of “Joan of Arts.” Here she is at the first ACC Winter Market in Baltimore in 1977.

New Year's Greeting Card from Wendell Castle

New Year’s greeting card from Wendell Castle
The ACC Library houses more than 3,000 artist files which contain slides and print images, exhibition catalogues, correspondence, and other ephemera. Aside from the documentation of an artist’s career, many files contain material revealing the artist’s more personal side, and holiday cards in particular reflect the artist’s unique personality. Here is one of our favorites from Wendell Castle.

Painting of Mrs. Webb Waiting for her Husband

Masao Jeff Morozumi Jr., Mrs. Webb Waiting for Her Husband, 1979
This painting of ACC founder Aileen Osborn Webb came to us as a surprise. On July 31, 2017, a package arrived at the ACC office addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Aileen Osborn Webb. The package contained a framed watercolor painting and letter by Mr. Masao Jeff Morozumi Jr., a 1963 graduate of the School for American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute of Technology. He explains in the letter that he was able to attend the School for American Craftsmen thanks to a scholarship from Mrs. Webb. His painting depicts Mrs. Webb on a rainy day, waiting for her husband at their home overlooking the Hudson River. We are grateful for this beautiful tribute to Mrs. Webb.

Pair of bookends by Jere Osgood

Jere Osgood, bookends, 1967
The American Craft Council Library & Archives houses many fine objects created by renowned craft artists such as Harvey Littleton, Toshiko Takaezu, Karen Karnes, and Daniel Rhodes. Many of the objects, including this pair of rosewood bookends, were donated to the Council by the American Craft Museum at the time that the museum became an independent entity in 1990.


America House Catalog

We recently discovered the same bookends featured in a catalogue for America House, the retail store operated by the American Craft Council from 1940 until 1971. Most of the objects at the ACC are on permanent display in the library, which is open for use five days a week.

For more information about the archives at the American Craft Council, check out our Archival Finding Aids, browse our Digital Collections online, contact librarian Beth Goodrich, or stop in to visit.