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Thinking Through Craft Paperback – 31 Oct 2007

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Berg Publishers; 1st Edition edition (31 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845206479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845206475
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'At a time when technical skill has been widely dismissed or outsourced in the production of art, Glenn Adamson crucially adds an entire spectrum of hand-crafted objects to the creative history of the post-war era. And at a time when theoretical frameworks have stagnated, these objects, in his hands, bring with them a fresh and sophisticated set of interpretive perspectives.' Thomas Crow, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University 'Adamson asks provocative questions about the marginalization of craft within the discourse of modernism. Best of all, he writes with a lucidity, energy and engagement that takes the reader with him all the way.' Pennina Barnett, Goldsmiths College, University of London 'A highly original contribution, Thinking through Craft is both thoughtful and exacting about crafted objects and the lessons provided by the artists' time, labor and material inventiveness.' Modern Painters 'A pathbreaking book" Elissa Auther, University of Colorado Throughout Thinking Through Craft, Adamson offers such provocative readings of both fine art and craft history that are likely to instigate radical new ways of thinking about each. Maria Elena Buszek, for Surface Design This book is ... full of thoughtful and pertinent analysis and achieves an impressive theoretical take on the role of studio craft within the history of modern art. The Journal of William Morris Studies A thoughtful, exciting and well-written book that touches on so many interesting ideas concerning craft. Museum Anthropology Review

About the Author

Glenn Adamson is Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he leads a graduate program in the History of Design. He holds degrees in Art History from Cornell University (BA) and from Yale University (PhD). Dr. Adamson was previously curator at the Chipstone Foundation, and in that capacity prepared exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum and taught Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the co-editor (with Tanya Harrod and Edward S. Cooke, Jr.) of the Journal of Modern Craft, the only academic journal in the subject area, which will launch in March 2008.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Glenn Adamson's scholarly discussion of the place of craft in the world of contemporary fine art is thought provoking and a helpful guide to those involved in the fields of fine, applied art and art criticism. He raises relevant issues and highlights the philosophical arguments and opinions of prominent players in this arena, encompassing makers and reviewers alike. His final paragraph suggests that "not all craft...present[s] an interesting case for theoretical discourse" and as he himself says the book is written "in a spirit of instigation". More analytical writing on the subject of craft [especially under the umbrella of design]would broaden the debate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides important modern art and craft related concepts and "physical evidence" to back up all his arguments. 27 May 2011
By Chen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tackles in a very sucint and precise way the ample and varied concepts of modern arts and crafts.
It gives you the necessary conceptual references to understand craft in the contemporary scenario, all backed up by sound examples of practicing artist and artisans.
A must read book along with The Craft Reader from the same author.
For me, after years mining for this kind of information, it is a kind of relief to have found these books in a field where rarely books of this magnitude appears.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend for All Thingmakers, Artists, and Curators. 25 Nov. 2015
By Graehound - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An uncommon and well thought out consideration of an entire breadth of media and activity many of us in the fine arts acknowledge as integral to our own work, but can't always put into words, this text digs into the separation of craft and Art while examining it objectively and succinctly. This books chews a lot of serious material into manageable pieces without diminishing any of them...incredibly helpful, interesting, and hard-to-put-down read that offers a lot of valuable information people of all creative fields can benefit from.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Through Craft is Very Hard to Read 10 Oct. 2013
By Harriete E. Berman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Time to be honest. The book is really hard to read. If you are a well rested academic buy the book. If you do not define your self as academic, then borrow the book from the library. You won't read the whole book anyway.

Very few pictures illustrate the points made by the author. For a visual learner, it was almost impossible to maintain interest for this reason. (even links to appropriate websites or a dedicated website would have helped.) My understanding was that this was written as a doctoral thesis, but when it was published images should have been added to complement the text. The copyright issues surrounding images can be challenging, but not overwhelming obstacles.

"Thinking Through Craft" probably gets five stars if you are an art academic....but I think that it is important to be able to communicate with a larger audience. This is not an elitist vs. non-academic argument. I believe that information of this importance needs to reach a wider audience. Responsibility for communicating ideas rests with the author and publisher. Glenn Adamson is very personable in person, his lectures can be excellent though sometimes rambling. Why not rewrite the book so it communicates the ideas in a more approachable and accessible manner.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fine art. 16 Mar. 2016
By ND Blues - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really academic/cerebral approach to the topic, which is incredibly interesting, btw. I felt the writing was a little self indulgent, but if you can sift through all of that, it is worth reading, especially since there are so few books on the topic of craft vs. fine art.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for 3D artists. 8 Nov. 2010
By bpceramics - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent resource for anyone working in the 3D arts. Glenn Adamson received his pHD from Yale...and basically this is his dissertation.

Good connections between french theory and contemporary craft practices. Also get "The Craft Reader" his bibliography from this series of research.
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