The portraits taken by Paul J. Smith in studios and at events depict some of the most important artists working in clay during the second half of the 20th century. The Clay Studio is pleased to exhibit this group of ceramic artists pictured in Smith’s recent book, Masters of Craft, which also contains images of artist working in fiber, metal, glass and wood. These photographs represent his close relationships with some of the greatest artists working in craft media.
Paul J. Smith began his connection with the American Craft Council in 1957 when he began developing educational programs. He soon moved to the staff of the Museum of Contemporary Craft (now The Museum of Arts and Design) where he served as the Director for thirty years. During Smith’s tenure he curated many groundbreaking exhibitions and helped to support scores of artists who formed the core of the 20th century Studio Craft Movement. Drawing on his over fifty-year career as an administrator and curator, Smith’s photographs reflect his extensive interest in meeting artists in their studios, as well as at craft world events. These images form an important personal and historical record of the Studio Craft Movement.
More photos by Paul J. Smith are included in the adjacent exhibition, Fellowship in Clay: Philadelphia’s American Craft Council Fellows.
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