Crafty Libraries and Museums
Lowell's American Textile History Museum and the Osborne Library are two of the many museums and libraries around the world that exhibit and collect craft goods. Below is a selection of others near and far.
Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution: The archives collects the papers of primarily 20th century artists and galleries that feature clay, fiber, metal, glass, etc. You can browse images by name or format of the item (e.g., photograph, correspondence). There is also an extensive oral-history collection.
Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC: The library has about 20,000 volumes looking at the history of textiles, rugs and costume, contemporary fiber art, textile structures and techniques, and textile conservation.
Boston Public Library Fine Arts collection: Includes materials on art history, architecture, painting, sculpture, drawing, design, illustration, decorative arts, and antiques.
Fuller Craft Museum: This museum in Brockton, MA, the former "shoe capital of the world," features an exhibit called "The Perfect Fit," exploring the stories that shoes tell. The museum also exhibits ceramics, clay, sculpture, etc.
The Metal Museum: In Memphis, TN, the Metal Museum claims to be the only institution in the United States devoted exclusively to the preservation and promotion of fine metalwork. The museum's Julius Blum Library houses portfolios, slide collections, videos, and books about metalworks.
New England Quilt Museum: In Lowell, the museum collects and preserves antique and contemporary quilts. The most recent exhibition featured quilts made from menswear like neckties and military clothing. The museum has a library with reference books, quilt magazines, and quilt software.
The National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London: This reference library collects material documenting the fine and decorative arts. The V&A museum collects ceramics, metalwork, sculpture, and textiles, among other things. There is also a knitting collection that includes a free pattern to knit a work of art.
Sidebar by Katharine Dunn