Objects: USA 2020
In 1969, the groundbreaking exhibition Objects: USA opened to crowds at the Smithsonian Institution before traveling across the country and abroad. Uniting more than three hundred artists who were inventing new approaches to artmaking by way of craft media, this revolutionary event altered the course of American art and introduced the world to some of today’s most celebrated artists.
A half-century later, Objects: USA 2020 revisits this legendary show—and its accompanying catalog, which has become a bible of sorts to many researchers—and extends its legacy by assembling fifty participants from the original exhibition and fifty contemporary artists. In their own ways, both generations radically upend the traditional methods and materials of craft to create new forms of art.
Featuring essays by Glenn Adamson, James Zemaitis, and Lena Vigna, an interview with Paul J. Smith, archival photographs of the original exhibition, and of significant historical and contemporary works, Objects: USA 2020 is an essential art historical reference that traces how craft was elevated to the status of museum-quality art, and sets its trajectory forward.