Crafts Study Centre
The Crafts Study Centre enjoys an international reputation as a unique collection and archive of 20th century and contemporary crafts. Its collection embraces ceramics, textiles, calligraphy, wood objects, furniture, jewellery and metalwork accompanied by makers' diaries, working notes and photographs. Much of the collection has been built up from donations and bequests and includes work by such influential figures as Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Ethel Mairet, Phyllis Barron, Edward Johnston and Ernest Gimson.
The Centre was established in 1970 when a small group of crafts makers and educators agreed it was vital to preserve and celebrate the best British crafts of the 20th century. The decision to establish the Crafts Study Centre led to a successful partnership with the University of Bath which in 1977 housed its collections at the city’s Holburne Museum of Art.
In 2000 the Crafts Study Centre, a registered charity, relocated to Surrey to accept the generous offer of the University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham to construct a new purpose-built space. In June 2004 the Centre opened in an elegant new three-story building located next to the entrance of the University College’s Farnham campus. The light and airy space features two exhibition galleries, a lobby and retail area, secure store for the collection and archive, and a library/research room which is available to the public by appointment. In its new location, the Centre is England’s first purpose-built museum for a craft collection.
Craft research resources online
A major digitisation project managed by the Crafts Study Centre and funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Headley Trust, has brought about 4,000 images from the Centre’s remarkable collections to the Internet. The vast database of images can be found along with a series of learning and teaching modules about the makers and their work via the Arts and Humanities data service website .
In 2006 the Arts and Humanities Research Council awarded core funding to the Crafts Study Centre. The Centre has also gained Accreditation from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, the national benchmark for standards in the country’s museums.
Exhibitions and gallery talks
Since its opening at Farnham, the Centre has provided an imaginative presentation of its permanent collections through inspiring exhibitions and gallery talks. It also features temporary exhibitions of innovative new work by leading, contemporary British craft practitioners. The Centre’s aim for the future is to continue its high standard of exhibitions and related activities, with objectives to establish a reputation for quality of learning, teaching and research activity.
The Centre is a registered charity with a distinguished Board of Trustees chaired by the eminent potter and writer Professor Edmund de Waal.
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