Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis / Spoon / about 1905 - 1918Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis
about 1905 - 1918

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Creator Name: Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Manufacturer
Creator Dates/Places: active 1904-1918
Creator Name-CRT: Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis
Title: Spoon
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1905
Creation End Date: 1908
Creation Date: about 1905 - 1918
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Silver
Materials and Techniques: silver
Dimensions: H.3-5/8 x W.1-3/8 x D.1/2 in.
Inscriptions: INSCRIPTION
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 96.117
Credit Line: The Pflaum Silver Fund
Rights: http://www.artsmia.org/restrictions.html

In Minnesota, economic expansion and population growth in the 1880s and 1890s coincided with an interest in establishing cultural and arts organizations that would enhance people?s lives. One of the earliest was the Chalk and Chisel Club, later reorganized as the Arts and Crafts Society of Minneapolis. In 1904 a group of women, several of them Arts and Crafts Society members, formed the Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis.

Like the Kalo Shop and other American Arts and Crafts endeavors, the Handicraft Guild was influenced by C. R. Ashbee?s school and Guild of Handicraft, founded in 1888 in London, and by Japanese craft traditions. Emphasis was on the handcraft process and truth to materials. A course catalogue summed up the Handicraft Guild?s mission: "[to] give authoritative instruction in design and its solution in terms of materials; also to furnish complete training for students desirous of becoming Craftsmen, Designers and Teachers." The Handicraft Guild was an egalitarian organization, and most objects made by its members were marked only with the cipher HG.

Many important educators and craftspeople were guild members, officers, and instructors. Mary Moulton Cheney, a graphic designer and prominent educator at the guild, later served as director of the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts (now the Minneapolis College of Art and Design). The guild?s founder, Emma Roberts, who understood the importance of aesthetics in the lives of children, taught drawing and art appreciation in the Minneapolis public schools for over two decades. From 1905 to 1909, summer school students at the guild were directed by the celebrated ceramic artist and educator Ernest Batchelder of Throop Polytechnic Institute (now the California Institute of Technology), in Pasadena, California.

The Handicraft Guild also offered opportunities for exhibitions, sales, and architectural commissions. Members soon saw that a permanent location was needed, and in 1907 a building, which still stands today, was constructed for the guild at 89 South Tenth Street in downtown Minneapolis. All wares produced by the Handicraft Guild were sold there?metalwork, ceramics, leatherwork, jewelry, stencils, woodblock prints, weavings, and baskets. In 1918, believing that its mission would now be better served through a larger, public institution, the guild arranged for its program to become the University of Minnesota?s art education department.

This hand-hammered silver nut spoon has a cutout geometric design that was also used as decoration for nut bowls produced in copper and silver by the guild.

Numerous objects made by the Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis are in the Minnesota Historical Society?s collections.

AMICA ID: MIA_.96.117
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: ? The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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