Appalachian Innovators: Women Makers in the Southern Highland Craft Guild, 1930-2000

February 6 - July 31, 2016

Visitors to the Asheville Art Museum have the opportunity to view important work of female artists in Appalachian Innovators: Women Makers in the Southern Highland Craft Guild, 1930-2000. Women have been among the most important members in the long history of the Guild and have been a driving force in the organization. The founding members were almost all women, and many of these women led organizations designed to boost the economic standing of mountain families. As the decades passed, men took more of a role and eventually the leadership.

Some of the most important work of these women is included in Appalachian Innovators, from early Appalachian work to the work of mid-century artists who illustrated what the future would hold artistically. Woman held the artistic power during the early 20th century and nothing really changed until about 1950.

The Guild served as a microcosm of the larger world of art. With influences from the major craft schools to Black Mountain College, the Guild was a major economic force for its varied members. Chartered in 1930, the Guild has grown to become one of the strongest craft organizations in the country. Second in age only to the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, the Guild now represents over 900 craftspeople in 293 counties of nine southeastern states.

This exhibition is co-curated by Andrew Glasgow and Lynn Poirier-Wilson.


Thank you to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and  Jim and Julia Peterson for their support of this exhibition.

View selected works in the exhibition »