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Found 319 Resources

When Craftsmanship Meets Representation

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
One thing that has always stuck out to me is the way in which small physical representations have the power to spread ideas through society. Therefore, of course, I was drawn to the Cooper Hewitt’s model and prototype gallery, where I first encountered this striking piece. Architecture has always been a driving force in society,...

Anton Würth on Craftsmanship & Master Works

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
German Printmaker Anton Würth came for a visit to the Cooper-Hewitt museum in New York City, where he got the opportunity to view several rare prints first-hand. In this interview, Anton shares why mastery of engraving is so difficult, thoughts on craftsmanship, and why these prints contain more than meets the eye.

1958 Leather and Oxcart Craftsmanship - Costa Rica

Human Studies Film Archives
Leather and Oxcart Craftsmanship (Costa Rica) (1958): Leather factory and oxcart (carreta) painting -- SILENT FILM CLIP This film clip is from Thayer Soule's travelogue, Rainbow Lands of Central America, archived in the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution. For more information, view the complete catalog record: http://tinyurl.com/HSFAcatalog. For information on Thayer Soule see SIRIS blog post: http://tinyurl.com/qyn6fkd.

Stoneware storage jar

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Edgefield stoneware storage jar, ovoid form with tooled rim and two small handles on the upper portion of body near rim. Signed and dated by artist vertically at upper body.

Wall hanging based on a design by Philip Simmons

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Black metalwork representing a palm tree atop waves, which is the logo for Daniel Island, where renowned Charleston, South Carolina ironworker Philip Simmons was born. The central tree design is surrounded by a circle, which is enclosed by an open square. There are round holes in each of the four (4) corners, 1/2mm in diameter, for hanging hardware. There is no maker's mark.

Overshot coverlet made by an unidentified weaver near Edgefield, South Carolina

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This dark brown, pink, and off-white overshot coverlet was hand woven on a four-harness loom with six treadles using a single-ply z-spun undyed cotton warp and weft with supplementary single-ply z-spun wool weft dyed brown and pink. The colored wool supplementary weft creates a striped geometric design that is mirrored on the reverse. There are three identical panels machine-stitched selvage to selvage to form the coverlet, with rolled hems on the exterior edges. There is no border pattern for the outside sections. The wool is colored brown using an iron-tannate dye, while the pink colored wool is colored with an aniline dye.

Two pieces of pyrite from the workshop of C. Edgar Patience

National Museum of African American History and Culture
These two (2) pieces of pyrite were found in the workshop of anthracite coal artist C. Edgar Patience. Both are irregularly shaped unused materials.

Chair with corn husk seat woven by Johnnie Ree Jackson

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A ladder back chair with a husk bottom refurbished by Johnnie Ree Jackson. The chair back has three wood slats between two wood uprights. Corn husk is woven across the seat frame to create seat. The seat is supported by four legs connected with an upper and lower slat on each side.

Printing plate of carving designs from the workshop of C. Edgar Patience

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This copper printing plate from a catalog of designs for carved anthracite coal objects was found in the workshop of C. Edgar Patience. This plate contains designs for sixteen (16) different items, including pendants and pin heads. Each design has a corresponding unique number engraved beneath it. The reverse of the plate has adhesive residue and lengths of tape adhered to it.

Needlenose pliers from the workshop of C. Edgar Patience

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This pair of needlenose pliers were found in the workshop of C. Edgar Patience. The metal pliers have grated sections on the outside edge of each handle for gripping. Text is engraved on one side of the pin that reads "REUMSHUSSELL / GERMANY".

Stencil plate from the workshop of C. Edgar Patience

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This copper stencil plate reading "BEST WISHES FOR SUCCESS / FROM / CAN DO, INC." was found in the workshop of C. Edgar Patience. Metal loops protrude from the copper plate to form the interior floating portions of the letters. Two small rectangular pieces of copper sheeting extend from each bottom corner of the stencil. A circular piece of fiberboard is screwed to the center bottom of the stencil plate.

Flight

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This anthracite coal sculpture by C. Edgar Patience features an abstract sculpted upper portion with jagged, irregular edges protruding from the top of a rectangular polished base with rounded corners. A paper label adhered to the bottom of the base reads in printed black ink "Flight / N.F.S.".

Pew from the Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A dark-stained oak church pew with decoratively carved top crowns and sculptured ends. A brass plaque on the end identifies it as number 58.

Wrought iron gate created by Philip Simmons

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A wrought iron metalwork gate created by the blacksmith and artist Philip Simmons. The gate has two halves, one with a female latch with an inverted L-shaped vertical slide lock. The other has the male latch with a decorative hook that slides up and down on two bolts. Each door of the gate is primarily composed of seven evenly spaced vertical bars. Halfway up each gate is an open section with curving French scroll work positioned horizontally. Similar scroll work is present as the top decoration of the gate. The gate doors are taller at their center than on their hinge side.

Metal leatherworking riveter by Little Giant

National Museum of African American History and Culture
An iron Little Giant leatherworking riveter. The riveter has a long lever connected to the riveter that moves upward when the lever is pushed down. A threaded bolt sits directly above riveter. Raised metal type, on both sides of riveter reads: [LITTLE GIANT].

Black Uncle Sam pieced miniature quilt

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This miniature quilt or wall hanging made by Stephen Blumrich of Pea Ridge Purties features twelve (12) pieced Black Uncle Sam blocks separated by sashing. The quilt consists of the pieced top layer, a thin layer of batting, and a plain muslin backing. The layers are tied together with red thread, each tie corresponding to make a button at the center chest of the shirt of the pieced figural blocks. Each figure wears a red and white striped top hat with a blue brim and has his arms outstretched. The faces and hands are made from plain black cotton. Yellow eyes and a red mouth are embroidered on each face. All of the figures wear red and white striped pants matching the hats, but each figure's shirt is made from a different printed cotton. The background of the figural blocks is made from a plain muslin that appears to have been dyed with tea or coffee to appear aged. The blocks are set with sashing made from a navy cotton with small floral sprig design, with a yellow fabric in the sashing corners that is fussy cut so that a five-pointed star is at the center of the squares. The top is surrounded by a thin border made from plain red cotton. The backing of the quilt is made from a single piece of the same plain muslin dyed with coffee or tea that is used in the background of the figural blocks. Stamped in the lower right corner of the back is a rectangle in dark brown with uncolored text inside reading "PEA RIDGE / PURTIES." Text stamped in dark brown below the box reads "COPYRIGHT 1986 / STEPHEN BLUMRICH".

Noah's Ark applique quilt made by Yvonne Wells

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A color block pieced and appliqued quilt depicting the biblical story of animals boarding Noah's Ark made by Yvonne Wells. The quilt has a blue sky and a rust-red ground machine-stitched together. The ark, animals, and people are hand appliqued to the background. The animals are lined up in pairs waiting to board the ark, which is in the bottom left facing corner. Noah stands near the ark, while a woman with pink rickrack hair looks out the window and two other people stand on the deck. Two additional people are standing at the right facing side near the seam of the sky and ground backgrounds, with one holding an umbrella. The animals are made from a variety of fabrics and colors including faux fur, sheep's skin, printed stripes, and a Halloween fabric turned with the wrong side facing. The animals have plastic button eyes in a range of colors and sizes, while the people have embroidered faces. The central motif is bordered on the sides with a solid purple and on the top and bottom with a purple and red check. Each corner of the border features a different applique design with a series of diagonal scraps at the top left facing corner, a white cross in the top right, a green polka dot tree trunk in the bottom left, and an embroidered signature in the bottom right reading "YW1P88" in green thread. The quilt contains polyester batting and is backed in a light blue fabric with a small repeating design of white crosses. The backing is turned to the front and hand stitched with white thread, then machine stitched with blue thread to form the binding. The quilting is done by hand in white thread in a scallop or fan design.

Wood leatherworking slicker (scraping tool)

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A wood leatherworking slicker. It is all wood and rectangular, with two concave edges on both ends. The slicker was used as a scraping tool.

Sharecropper’s Masterpiece

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This modified strip quilt with nine blocks was pieced by Avis Collins Robinson in the style of Gee's Bend, Alabama, quilts. It was quilted by Mensie Lee Pettway and Andrea Pettway Williams. The quilt top is comprised of nine (9) blocks in rows and columns of three. Each block is formed from asymmetrical strips of fabric, with the blocks sewn together so that the strips are oriented in alternating vertical and horizontal directions. The strips are made from pieces of corduroy and velvet in shades of red, pink, purple, and white. There is a border along the left facing side in dark purple velvet and a wider border along the right facing side in red corduroy. The quilt is backed with a solid red cotton or poly-cotton plain weave fabric. Binding on the top on bottom edges is made from chartreuse velvet, the left facing binding from light pink corduroy and the right facing binding from bright purple corduroy. The top, batting, and backing are joined with quilting stitches in white thread sewn in slightly undulating horizontal lines. A wide strip of plain muslin is sewn along the top edge of the reverse for hanging.

Metal leatherworking gauge

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A metal leatherworking draw gauge. The gauge has a built in sliding ruler that runs through the handle near the center and measures up to four inches. The ruler is marked by engravings into the metal. At the end of the ruler there is a marking engraved into the metal that has letters, but it is difficult to read. At the other end of the ruler, there is a small screw that, when tightened, secures the sliding ruler. The ruler at the top of the handle there is another screw and a small space where a blade would be placed. When tightened, the screw would secure a blade.

Wood handled and metal leatherworking edger

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A leatherworking edger with rounded wood handle. A small brass piece of metal is found at the connection point of the wood handle and metal edger. There is a either the number [1] or letter [T] engraved into the metal above the brass pieve. The handle is round with wider portion at end opposite of edger. The metal edger piece is curved. At the end of the curve, the edger extends from the curve to create a sharper edge.

China in Black and White: An Album of Woodcuts by Contemporary Chinese Artists

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Hardcover book by Pearl S. Buck with ninety-five (95) pages of text. The cover is dark tan with red text [China / in Black / and White] in the upper left. The title is on the upper spine and [AN / Asia Press / Book / John Day] is at the bottom spine in red. The back cover is blank. The interior front cover has a black and white bookplate with an image of Notre Dame and a woman painting which reads [EX LIBRIS / Lois Mailou Jones / DKW]. There is a handwritten inscription inside the book.

Fine tip pen used by architect Michael Marshall

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Pilot fineliner pen used by architect Michael Marshall. The black plastic pen (.4a) has a sliver clip on the cap (.4b). The clip is engraved with the maker. The bottom of the marker is smooth and the end is indented. In gold-colored ink on the body of the marker is [PILOT Fineliner]. The marker has black ink and a fine tip.

Marker pen used by architect Michael Marshall

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Paper Mate marker used by architect Michael Marshall. The black plastic pen (.1a) has a sliver clip on the cap (.1b). The clip is engraved by the maker, Paper Mate. The top of the cap has a white cross detail. The bottom of the marker is smooth and indented. The center body of the marker has grooves along the grip.
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