Fuller Craft Museum

Fuller Craft Museum in summer. Photo credit: Lightchaser Photography.

Lino Tagliapietra (Italian, b. 1934) Bilbao, 2001. Glass. Gift of the artist; Traditions and Innovations (permanent collection). Photo by Dean Powell.
To hear visitors speak about Fuller Craft Museum is like listening to someone speak of an old friend. They remember the last time they came, who they were with, and the occasion for their visit. They apologize for how long it has been since their last stopover.

They exchange stories with the staff and news of other interesting craft destinations. They depart assuring everyone of their return. For many, Fuller Craft, New England’s home for contemporary craft, is that old, familiar friend.

Fuller Craft has changed dramatically over the past six months. Jonathan Fairbanks, the founder and former curator (1970–1999) of the Museum of Fine Art Boston’s American Decorative Arts and Sculpture department, has been named Fuller Craft’s new director. In addition, Jeffrey Brown, a former museum professional, private dealer, consultant and advisor, has been named the museum’s curator of exhibitions and collections.

Further advances include a revamped members’ magazine, a new website, and an increased social media presence. A new performance series expands the exploration of craft values in different media such as poetry, song, and theater while building a stronger connection to the community.

Joe Muench, Pillow Block #2, 2007. Steel, copper, brass. Image courtesy of the artist. On view in the Iron Twenty Ten exhibition.
Founded by Myron Fuller (1872–1960) in 1946, Fuller Craft Museum has continually evolved. A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, Fuller was a geologist and a hydrologist who established the art museum and cultural center in memory of his family. Known as the Brockton Art Center Fuller Memorial at the time, the center opened its doors to the public in 1969. Lacking a permanent collection, the center held lectures and temporary exhibitions of mostly drawings and paintings. Fuller Memorial later changed to Fuller Art Museum and began collecting works in various mediums.


Susan Madacsi, Grand Confectioner’s Vessel, 2009. Steel, paint, wax. Image courtesy of the artist. On view in the Iron Twenty Ten exhibition.
The collection of contemporary craft works gathered momentum in 1984 when the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities (now the Massachusetts Cultural Council) provided a grant for new works. The museum selected eight studio furniture makers to contribute to Fuller’s permanent collection. A similar grant the following year supported the acquisition of studio jewelry, ceramics, wood, and studio glass. The collection continued to develop through donations by collectors and artists, carefully selected acquisitions, and commissions.


Fuller Craft Museum patio pond with plant. Photo credit: Lightchaser Photography.

In 2004, the museum changed its name to Fuller Craft Museum and focused solely on collecting contemporary craft. Makers who worked primarily with their hands in materials that were tactile and familiar had stretched the boundaries of these functional everyday objects into a conceptual, personal, virtuosic, and wildly imaginative studio craft scene and Fuller Craft wanted to be at the center of it. In October of 2011, Fuller Craft Museum dedicated their Lampos Gallery to the ongoing exhibition of the museum’s growing permanent collection called Traditions and Innovations.

Fuller Craft’s serene twenty-two acre campus provides an idyllic setting for people looking to experience art, culture, and the natural environment. The museum is surrounded by twenty-three acres of scenic woodland and the D.W. Field Park. Boasting high ceilings, wide corridors, slate floors, natural wood beams, and myriad floor-to-ceiling-windows, the atmosphere blurs the line between natural and hand-made beauty.

John Cederquist (American, b. 1946)
Hydroplaning in Japan with the Stanley Brothers, circa 1990. Cabinet. Traditions and Innovations (permanent collection). Photo courtesy of Rago Arts.

Currently on view at Fuller Craft Museum is Dan Dailey, Working Method (through September 3, 2012), a collection of significant works by the renowned glass artist, Iron Twenty Ten (through October 7, 2012), a survey of the finest contemporary blacksmithing in the United States organized by the National Ornamental Metal Museum and sponsored by public media powerhouse, WGBH, Icarus, a mobile by Mark Davis, and the travelling exhibit Living Treasures of North Carolina Craft (through August 5, 2012). Upcoming exhibitions include Chris Gustin: Masterworks in Clay (October 20, 2012–February 24, 2013), the ceramicist’s first museum retrospective during his thirty-five year career as a teacher and respected artist specializing in Anagama wood­firing.
Sam Maloof (American, 1916–2009) Lo Back Dining Chair #8, 2005. Walnut. Gift of the artist in memory of Alfreda Ward Maloof; Traditions and Innovations (permanent collection).

Leo Sewell (American, b. 1945) Duck in autumn. Photo credit: Lightchaser Photography.

Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA
For information call 508.588.6000
or visit www.fullercraft.org
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday: 10am–5pm
Thursday: 10am–9pm
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