Crafting a definition : a case study of the presentation of craft at the Renwick Gallery
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This report is a case study of the presentation of craft at the Renwick Gallery, the craft museum of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). The Renwick, founded in 1976, is a curatorial department of SAAM, focusing in modern and contemporary American craft. Through an examination of the museum’s galleries and exhibitions, interviews with staff, and an analysis of educational programming, this thesis explores how the Renwick defines craft implicitly and explicitly. Giving a context for this study is a history of the Renwick Gallery, as well as history of craft and its definitions. With these histories as background, the ways that the Renwick, and thus its visitors, understand craft is explored. The qualities specific to craft in the literature and manifest at the Renwick are examined in order to determine how they influence the presentation of craft at the Renwick.