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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.


Keliy Anderson-Staley: [hyphen] Americans

Since 2005, Houston-based artist Keliy Anderson-Staley has been photographing individuals across the United States using the tintype process, a nineteenth-century wet-plate photo-graphic process that was commonly used in portraiture and ethnographic studies through the 1930s. Unlike film, this process requires the artist to coat each photographic plate in light-sensitive chemicals, expose the photograph, and develop it—all while the image surface is still wet. 

The Style of Display: Victorian Pedestals

Victorian pedestals, meant to showcase sculpture, are fascinating decorative art objects to behold. The most ornate pedestals were made in the United States during the Gilded Age—a time following the Civil War until the turn of the twentieth century, when the country experienced rapid economic growth. From the mid-1860s through the 1880s, in particular, collecting and displaying sculpture and objets d’art led to an increased demand for pedestals.

Our Land: Photographs by Students of the Urban School of San Francisco

Greenleaf TK-8: Social Justice Posters

Chrysophora chrysochloraThe Intriguing World of Insects

Insects are the most diverse macroscopic organisms on the planet.

Philip Cheung: The Central Pacific

In 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act promoted the construction of a transcontinental railroad and tasked the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) and the Union Pacific Railroad companies to build a locomotive corridor between the eastern and western United States. Over the course of seven years, the two companies would race towards each other from opposite sides of the country, meeting in Promontory, Utah, in May of 1869. 

The water we share on this planet is unifying; it is a system of circles moving from the visible to the invisible.

—Jock McDonald, 2015

 

Aluminum: The Miracle Metal of Aviation

Without aluminum, the rapid advancement of aviation in the twentieth century would have been impossible. The 1903 Wright Flyer would not have flown without an aluminum engine, rigid airships would not have ascended, and without extensive use of the metal in constructing airframes the airplane would not have been the world-changing wonder it became. Aluminum’s lightness, strength, malleability, and durability was unmatched by any other material at the time.

Streamlines: Air Age Aesthetics for Industrial Design

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, when most Americans lost much of their savings and struggled to make a living, the modern airplane became an inspiring symbol of hope. Sleek and shiny, the new all-metal aircraft lifted spirits and promised a brighter future. The emerging study of aerodynamics, using wind-tunnel testing, rapidly advanced the design of aircraft.