Wharton Esherick Museum
The Wharton Esherick Museum seeks to preserve the legacy of one this country’s most innovative artists who reimagined “home” through the creation of his hand built studio and his furniture, utensils, and other objects that expressed his commitment to artful living. The museum’s mission is to “preserve, maintain, and exhibit the artistic creations of the late Wharton Esherick so that the general public may gain enjoyment, education, and inspiration from Esherick’s life work.” Located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the museum campus, which is comprised of multiple buildings, includes Esherick’s home and artist’s studio, which he designed and built over several decades.
The Brooklyn Museum is located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The museum was established in the 1800s and houses a vast collection of art from all over the world, including a renowned Egyptian and African art collection, and it is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. The mission of the Brooklyn Museum is “to create inspiring encounters with art that expand the ways we see ourselves, the world and its possibilities.”
The Heard Museum has a mission “to be the world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art, emphasizing its intersection with broader artistic and cultural themes.” Founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1929 by Dwight and Maie Bartlett Heard, over the years the museum has become an internationally acclaimed institution, known for the quality of its collections, educational programs, and exhibitions & festivals, which draw over 40,000 visitors annually. The exhibitions and collections showcase artworks that range from ancestral artifacts and historic drawings, to contemporary jewelry and paintings, offering distinctive perspectives on the art of Native people and showcasing the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art.
Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) opened in 1990 and celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, exploring the region’s artistic affinities with international art. Its mission states that it “presents new art and new ideas, educates and serves a diverse community, enhances Knoxville’s quality of life, and operates ethically, responsibly, and transparently as a public trust.” The exhibition Higher Ground is the first permanent exhibition devoted to over a century’s worth of East Tennessee’s artistic achievements, following the history of artistic endeavors by those who have helped shape the area’s visual arts tradition.
The KMA houses the epic masterwork by Knoxville resident and internationally acclaimed artist Richard Jolley: a steel and glass sculpture, Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity. The sculpture is one of the largest figurative glass-and-steel assemblages in the world and will remain on permanent view at the museum.
National Museum of the American Indian
National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is a Smithsonian Institution museum dedicated to “advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present, and future—through partnership with Native people and others.” NMAI has three separate facilities: the museum on the National Mall in Washington DC; the George Gustav Heye Center in New York City; and the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland. Through these facilities the organization hosts exhibitions, conducts research, and operates educational and arts programs. In 1989 the National Museum of the American Indian act Act was passed (amended in 1996), and the NMAI officially became part of the Smithsonian Institution and called for the repatriation of specific Native cultural objects. The museum’s vast collection – which contains Native artifacts, photographs, archives, and media – along with its diverse programming, serves to exemplify and highlight the rich diversity of Native people and Native culture in the contexts of both American history and contemporary American life.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a Smithsonian Institution museum. Its founding had been in the concept phase since the early part of the 20th century, but Congressional opposition stalled its progress for decades. After years of advocacy and effort, the museum’s construction was authorized in 2003 by George W. Bush. In September 2016, Barack Obama led the ceremony that officially opened the museum at its permanent location on 24th Street and Constitution Avenue NW on the National Mall in Washington DC. NMAAHC has collected more than 36,00 objects and numerous interactive exhibits covering the arts, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, athletics, music, and much more. Lonnie G. Bunch III, the museum’s founding director states, “The African American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American.”
International Quilt Museum
The International Quilt Museum, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, is the world’s largest publicly held collection of approximately 6,000 quilts from more than 50 countries, dating from the 1600s to today. Its mission is to build a global collection and audience that celebrate the cultural and artistic significance of quilts.
“Quilts are the textile pages of our shared history.”
– Leslie C. Levy, Executive Director
Serving Los Angeles for over forty years in the city’s historic Miracle Mile district, the Craft Contemporary (formerly known as the Craft & Folk Art Museum) in Los Angeles is dedicated to celebrating contemporary and traditional craft and folk art. Founded as a popular art gallery and restaurant in 1965, The Egg and the Eye became a not-for-profit museum in 1973. In the decades that followed, the Craft & Folk Art Museum solidly established its position as an exhibition and research entity in Southern California for folk art and craft. As Los Angeles developed as an important international art center, the Craft & Folk Art Museum continued to present indigenous global art forms and to support the careers of now well-known craft artists including Sam Maloof, Otto and Vivika Heino, and Beatrice Wood.
Corning Museum of Glass
Founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) as a gift to the nation for the company’s 100th anniversary, The Corning Museum of Glass is a not-for-profit museum dedicated to telling the story of a single material: glass. The story of glass is a story about art, history, culture, technology, science, craft and design.
The Corning Museum of Glass cares for and displays the world’s best collection of art and historical glass and the public can learn about the science and technology behind innovations in glass through hands-on exhibits in the Innovation Center. Glass is brought to life through live, narrated glassmaking demonstrations onsite, Hot Glass shows, GlassLab, a traveling design program, glassmaking classes at The Studio, The Rakow Research Library and museum publications and videos. The Corning Museum of Glass is a dynamic institution that continues to actively collect, educate, preserve, and share the experience of glass. In March 2015, the museum opened the Contemporary Art + Design Wing, which is the largest space in the world dedicated to art and design in glass.
Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Renwick Gallery is home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection of contemporary craft and decorative art, one of the finest and most extensive collections of its kind. The museum’s home is a National Historic Landmark, the first building erected expressly as an art museum in the United States, and is named in honor of its architect, James Renwick, Jr. It has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1972. The Renwick exhibits the most exciting works by artists exploring traditional and innovative approaches to making, emphasizing craft as an approach to living differently in the modern world. Collections, special exhibitions, and scholarship highlight how extraordinary handmade objects have shaped the American experience and continue to impact our lives.