The world of the handmade object is changing. Makers, curators, collectors, and scholars are discussing the expansion of the contemporary craft field into conceptual areas. Crucial to this discussion is the current role of traditional values, such as function and perfection, as expressed through craft objects. Can these concepts be examined on a sliding scale of emphasis when applied to craft-based media?
"Craft and the Hand" explores these various perspectives. The exhibition takes as a point of reference the role of the hand in contemporary craft, a fundamental concept that still has relevance in this changing field. Through objects in the MIA's permanent collection and various loans, "Craft and the Hand" explores, through thematic groupings, how very different philosophies are carried out by craft-based artists in their work. These range from perfection of form through skill, to using excellent handcraft to achieve a conceptual emphasis, to conscious elimination of the mark of the hand.