California Studio Craft: featuring works from the Forrest L. Merrill collection
Studio craft combines the characteristics of traditional, handmade craft with the refined qualities of fine art. Made by professional artist-craftspeople who work in a variety of media, studio craft includes both utilitarian items and more experimental pieces that focus on aesthetics over function. For many, studio craft is an imaginative and personal expression that encourages creativity through the exploration of time-tested materials and techniques.
Clarissa Bonet: City Space
In her ongoing series, City Space, Chicago-based artist Clarissa Bonet explores the urban landscape from a pedestrian perspective, producing dramatic images that draw focus both on the surface of the city and the psychological resonance of the architecture within it.
Doug Fogelson: Chemical Alterations
In his series, Chemical Alterations, artist Doug Fogelson uses photography to raise questions about humankind’s impact upon the natural world. The images—chemically altered views of seemingly pristine landscapes—honor the rich diversity of the natural world while implying the artist’s concern with its fragility.
Down-Home Music: The Story of Arhoolie Records
Chris Strachwitz (b.
Jason Reblando: New Deal Utopias
In one of the lesser-known public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, three “Greenbelt Towns” were designed and built by the U.S. Government between 1935 and 1938: Greenbelt, Maryland; Greendale, Wisconsin; and Greenhills, Ohio.
Preston Gannaway: The Farms of West Oakland
Fifty-two years ago, the Black Panther Party (BPP) formed in Oakland, California. The central headquarters of the Party was located in West Oakland, a neighborhood that became predominantly African American following the Second Great Migration that began in 1940. Known for their social justice programs opposing white supremacy and police brutality, the Party also established food security and community co-op grocery programs aimed towards providing food access for local residents.
Maneki Neko: Japan’s Beckoning Cat
Cats may have arrived in Japan from Korea during the Nara period (710–794). Before long, cats appeared in Japanese literature and art. Over the centuries, the Japanese began keeping the creatures as pets and valuing them for their ability to kill rodents. During the late Edo period (1615–1868), artisans began making maneki neko or beckoning cat figurines, a type of engimono or auspicious object.
America in Color: 1940–1943
In the early 1930s, the United States government commissioned a group of photographers under the Farm Security Administration (FSA) to document the daily lives, working conditions, and plight of Americans during the Great Depression and into World War II. Many of the resulting photographs, such as Dorothea Lange(1895–1965)’s image of the migrant mother, Florence Owens Thompson, would become iconic of the era and engrained in the nation’s collective consciousness.
Esther Bubley: 1943 Bus Story
Edna Bullock: Flea Markets
Edna Bullock (1915–97) began her career as a photographer in 1976, shortly after the death of her husband, the celebrated photographer Wynn Bullock. She was sixty-one at the time, explaining, “I had inherited a darkroom, camera equipment, and supplies. For more than thirty years, I had been immersed in the world of photography.