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Founded in 1950, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts played a central role in the development of American art and craft.

The artists of the school’s early years—Anni Albers, Dale Chihuly, Robert Ebendorf, Jack Lenor Larsen, M.C. Richards, and Toshiko Takaezu—contributed to a dynamic community of craftspeople who broke new ground across a wide range of media. Opening this weekend, In the Vanguard: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is the first major museum exhibition focused solely on this school, and its insights will revise the narrative of midcentury art and craft in America.

Organized by co-curators Rachael Arauz and Diana Greenwold, the exhibition features more than 90 works of art, including textiles, ceramics, glass, metalwork, paintings, and prints, as well as newly discovered correspondence, photographs, brochures, posters, and magazine articles from the Haystack archive. In the Vanguard presents the most comprehensive exhibition to date about one of the country’s most influential and lasting art institutions. It is a vital, compelling, and inspiring story about the pivotal imprint one small school in Maine has left on midcentury American culture. 

The accompanying exhibition catalogue documents Haystack’s innovative pedagogy and examines the artists who helped define the school’s model of communally oriented, process-based learning. With deeply researched essays that detail the school’s founding and first two decades, archival photographs, and images of rarely or never-before published works made at Haystack, In the Vanguard introduces readers to the important legacy of this groundbreaking institution.

The exhibition opens on May 24th (through September 8) at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, followed by the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan from December 13, 2019–March 8, 2020.

No need to miss out on the catalogue if you can’t make it to either of the museums in person: save 30% on In the Vanguard by entering discount code 18W8495 at checkout.