Bloomsbury Design Library
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Thinking Through Craft

Thinking Through Craft

by Glenn Adamson

Glenn Adamson is Head of Graduate Studies and Deputy Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum. He is also author of The Craft Reader (Berg, 2009) and Thinking Through Craft (Berg, 2007). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2007
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781350036062
  • ISBN:
    978-1-8452-0646-8 (hardback)

    978-1-8452-0647-5 (paperback)

    978-1-3500-3606-2 (online)
  • Edition:
    English edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017 2017
Thinking Through Craft
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Co-published in Association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This book is a timely and engaging introduction to the way that artists working in all media think about craft. Workmanship is key to today’s visual arts, when high ‘production values’ are becoming increasingly commonplace. Yet craft’s centrality to contemporary art has received little serious attention from critics and historians.

Dispensing with clichéd arguments that craft is art, Adamson persuasively makes a case for defining craft in a more nuanced fashion. The interesting thing about craft, he argues, is that it is perceived to be ‘inferior’ to art. The book consists of an overview of various aspects of this second-class identity - supplementarity, sensuality, skill, the pastoral, and the amateur. It also provides historical case studies analysing craft’s role in a variety of disciplines, including architecture, design, contemporary art, and the crafts themselves. Thinking Through Craft will be essential reading for anyone interested in craft or the broader visual arts.