Review of The Invention of Craft by Glenn Adamson

Author: Nithikul Nimkulrat

book review, 2013

Craft, in Glenn Adamson’s view, has continuously referred to a process or an activity rather than a discipline on its own. Adamson, head of research at the Victoria and Albert Museum, has written extensively on this subject; here, he revisits craft, but with a different focus. The Invention of Craft presents craft as a modern invention playing its role in society. It is therefore positioned within modern production - and increasingly within today’s post-disciplinary practice. For Adamson, the conventional narrative of craft emerging during the Industrial Revolution and the Arts and Crafts Movement has posited it as workmanship of the past with no relation to industrial production.

Here, the author looks to demonstrate that craft is not a second-class or anti-modern discipline, but rather a skilled process that is crucial for contemporary practices across a wide range of disciplines, including sculpture, painting and contem-porary art, fashion, design, architecture and the digitalised industrial fabrication of products. By way of illustration, he not only explores the origins of modern craft but also emphasises its significance today.

Craft has never been in decline or dead: instead, it has always been ‘an indispensable means of working’

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Suggested Citation: Nimkulrat, N. (2013, 13 June 2013). The Invention of Craft by Glenn Adamson [Review of the book The Invention of Craft, by G. Adamson]. Times Higher Education, 2105, 50-51.