Why the Directory exists and what it does
How We Judge
How we select artists to be included
A look at Directories past
Directory tags assure historical accuracy and quality
The artists selected for the 2016 Directory of Traditional American Crafts.
Crafts by Type
See who has been selected as best in America in making specific crafts.
Artists by Name
Find out more about an artist selected for the Directory.
Directory by Year
A look at Directories past
What’s going on in the artist community
View and download the 2022 Directory application
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See the best traditional artists in America
For those who read or want to write for the magazine
Reproductions or Fakes?
In judging the
2005 Directory competition, the jurors overseeing the selection of samplers
raised an important issue: many of the samplers entered were accurate
historic reproductions of period samplers that by their very accuracy seemed
contrived to deceive their audience. That is, they were emblazoned with the
name and date of the maker of the original that they sought to reproduce. In
the eyes of the jurors, these were fraudulent works, fakes, the bane of
museum curators everywhere (and particularly the curators we asked to judge
the work). In response to the concerns of the jurors, we included no
samplers in the 2005 Directory, notwithstanding the skillful work of many
entrants. We also refunded their entry fees.
issue runs through any area where craftspeople seek to reproduce the work of
the past, it came to a head with samplers because most are emblazoned on
their faces with the name of their maker and date of their making. An exact
reproduction will include the name and date of the original, which is
misleading, particularly if the sampler has been "aged" to look
ancient when it is, in fact, a new creation. Potters, painters, and the like
are proud to affix their own names to their work because the inclusion is
not so glaringly obvious and is actually a matter of pride.
For 2006 and
onward, we require that reproductions bear notice they are exactly that in a
way that cannot be separated from the work. Although we prefer samplers to
bear their actual makers' names and dates, we accept a signing elsewhere on
the piece in a way that is integral to the piece.
The deadline for applying to enter the 2022 Directory of Traditional American Crafts has passed. Applications are now in the hands of the jury, who will select the best artistry to include in the Directory. When the judges have completed their selections, we will individually notify each participant whether he had been selected. Please refrain from contacting us during the jurying process. It will only slow things down.