Helen Drutt English
Helen Drutt English is a curatorial consultant, art historian, educator, and author. She founded Helen Drutt Gallery in Philadelphia, PA in 1973. Considered to be the “godmother of craft and a global ambassador” since the 1960s, Drutt has championed and promoted American craft internationally and helped to elevate studio craft into the realm of fine art. She has received numerous honors for her profound impact on the field of craft, including Honorary Fellow of the American Craft Council and the Lifetime Achievement in Crafts award from the National Museum of Women in Washington D.C.
Her home is a reflection of her life-long commitment to the handmade at its best. Located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, Drutt’s home connects two historic houses into one formidable dwelling where she displays the major collection of late 20th and early 21st studio craft she has amassed over decades of scholarship and collection.
Forrest L. Merrill
Collector Forrest L. Merrill has a deep appreciation for all manner of hand-wrought vessels of wood, metal, glass, fiber, and clay, as well as for the exceptional artists who create them. But even more important are the personal relationships he forges with these artists and his desire to share his unique collection with a public for whom art education and exposure to art is disappearing. Inspired in 1950 by a high school art teacher, his first purchase was a glass bowl by Glen Lukens, a pioneer in studio crafts. Right then, a collector was born. Merrill’s collection, based in Berkeley, CA, is one of the largest and most important of its kind in the world, containing pieces that span the arcs of entire careers of major artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.