August 7, 2011
Hand-done Handsome Things, 1949
In order to commemorate the Minnesota Territorial Centennial, the University Gallery exhibited “the most humble object made at home because it had to supply some need, to those objects of great artistry and excellent craftsmanship which would grace any museum in the land.”
While no catalog was created for the exhibit titled, “Hand-done Handsome Things,” Gallery Director, Ruth Lawrence, received a donation in order for some of the exhibited works of Minnesota arts and crafts to be photographed. The photos were later compiled into a scrapbook, which is now contained in Box 3 of the WAM archival collection.
In the introduction, Lawrence states, “There is positive value in these objects, not only through their historical implications but also as they may inspire and aid future craftsmen. They can have an indirect or economic value to living craftsmen as well as direct or intrinsic value to the worker himself or to the community…”
“The East holds the philosophy that the artist is not a special kind of man but every man a special kind of artist. With more leisure time coming this philosophy of the East might well be pondered here.“
Ponder over a few of the scrapbook pages containing hand-done handsome things…
Rebecca Wilson is a graduate student in the Master of Liberal Studies program at the University of Minnesota, completing a minor in Museum Studies. She also serves as a Visitor Services Assistant at the Weisman Art Museum.