In the Vanguard: Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 1950–1969 traces the first two decades of the Haystack Mountain School of Craft’s history and its pivotal imprint on the world of art and craft practice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. The first scholarly investigation of this internationally renowned school, the exhibition, and the accompanying catalogue will feature work made at Haystack or influenced by time spent there by some of the most highly recognized names in the fields of fiber, glass, ceramics, jewelry, and graphic arts to demonstrate the school’s significant role in debates about art, craft, industry, and pedagogy in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. Haystack’s model of brief summer sessions and changing instructors offered new ways of thinking about the status of craft as art and the nature of accessible design in the context of communally based, process-oriented learning. Anni Albers, Toshiko Takaezu, Jack Lenor Larsen, Kay Sekimachi, Arline Fisch, Robert Arneson, Harvey Littleton, Wolf Kahn, and Dale Chihuly are just a few of the artists who taught at the school between 1950 and 1969 and who helped define Haystack’s radically open-ended approach towards art and craft.
With approximately eighty objects assembled from public and private collections and archives, many rarely or never before exhibited in a museum, In the Vanguard will establish the substantial legacy of this remote community of makers in the art and education world at large. Archival material installed throughout the exhibition will include original correspondence, photographs, brochures, architectural models, posters, and early ephemera.
Published in association with the Portland Museum of Art.
Portland Museum of Art, Maine: May 24–September 8, 2019
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan: November 15, 2019–March 8, 2020