Craftsmanship at Its Finest: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Modern Day Tacoma, February 5 – May 17, 2020, Collins Library

Curated by Puget Sound student Chloe Brew, this exhibit explores the history and ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, which originated in Great Britain with designer and artist William Morris. This exhibit connects current artistic practice in Tacoma with the movement. Featured prominently in the exhibit is the work of the Arts and Crafts Press run by Yoshiko Yamamoto and Bruce Smith. Located in Tacoma, this modern day press embraces the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement. Also featured are a number of local women artists whose work exemplifies the ideals of fine craftsmanship. Collins Memorial Library, LINK Exhibit Area.

Exhibit Inspiration

In the summer of 2019, Puget Sound student Chloe Brew received a summer research grant from the University to study the Arts & Crafts movement and to seek historical connections with the Puget Sound region. She also focused on contemporary artists, with a special emphasis on the Arts & Crafts Press in Tacoma. This exhibit represents the outcome of her project which involved research in the Collins Memorial Archives & Special Collections, visits to studios, and examination of publications. Chloe has created an interdisciplinary exhibit that offers opportunities for the viewer to make connections between past and present.

The exhibit consists of three sections:

Section One: In the first two cases and the flat cases, are materials associated with the founder of the Arts & Crafts movement, William Morris. Also included are publications and artifacts that reflect the influence of Morris on artists of the period, as well as contemporary examples that provide a glimpse into the widespread influence of Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement.

Section Two: The middle cases as well as banners and the wall case highlight the work of the Arts & Crafts Press in Tacoma which is run by Yoshiko Yamamoto and Bruce Smith. Both artists are influenced by Morris as evidenced in their collection of historical materials and Yoshiko’s most recent linocut of Kelmscott Manor, the home of Morris.

Section Three: The final two cases showcase the work of several Tacoma artists. Chloe conducted interviews with the artists and connects their artistic practices to Arts & Crafts ideals. All the artists demonstrate craftsmanship at its finest. Represented are Chandler O’Leary, Taylor Cox, Gabrielle Cooksey, Jessica Spring and Suzanne Moore.

We invite you to make your own connections to the past and present as you browse this wonderful exhibit.

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