Craft Australia is pleased to announce the launch of a significant multi-year project. The Craft Australia National Historic Collection (NHC) is a significant slide archive on the development and practice of the Australian Studio Craft Movement from the 1960s to the early 1990s that is now digitised and available online to practitioners, researchers and curators in the field.
The collection includes work by luminaries Peter Tully, Susan Cohn, Robert Baines, Les Blakebrough, Liz Williams, Ragnar Hansen, Robert Baines, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Helmut Lueckenhausen, Greg Daly, Johannes Kuhnen, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Marian Hosking, Robert Bell, Gwyn Hanssen Piggott, Jeff Mincham, Shigeo Shiga, Stefan Szonyi, Alan Watt, Scott Chaseling, Tom Moore, Solvig Baas Becking, Margaret Grafton, Klaus Moje, Warren Langley, Nick Mount, Robyn Backen, Sieglinde Karl-Spence, Ray Norman and more.
In over 4000 images the development of the studio craft movement in Australia is charted across the disciplines of gold and silver smithing, textiles, ceramics, glass and wood. This includes extremely rare material from the 1960s and 1970s that predates the establishment of most of Australia's tertiary training programs in craft.
Craft Australia will close on the 30th April 2012 and has negotiated with the National Gallery of Australia
(NGA) to rehouse our National Historic Collection as part of their library holdings which documents the history and development of Australian art and culture. Whilst the NHC will be managed by the NGA after our closure the location for the collection will remain the same and can now be accessed online through the eHive collection management system at http://ehive.com/account/3653 and is also searchable on Picture Australia http://www.pictureaustralia.org
Researchers have already been active utilising our taster of the collection temporarily housed on our Flickr site. Images by a number of artists are to be included in the forthcoming book Place and Adornment: Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand by Dr. Kevin Murray and Dr. Damian Skinner. If you have been to our Flickr site for a preview of the National Historic Collection now is the time to head over to eHive and see the whole collection in all its glory.
Over the period 2011 - 2008 Craft Australia received three grants from the Community Heritage Grant Program funded by the Australian Government through the National Library of Australia, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Office for the Arts. These grants allowed the organisation to analyse its significant slide collection and digitise the most important slides represented in the NHC. The National Historic Collection is part of a wider collection of over 25,000 35mm slides of original artwork for which a home beyond Craft Australia has not yet been found.
Craft Australia would like to thank and acknowledge the support of the Community Heritage Grant Program and the numerous private donors who supported this significant project.
Image credit: Peter Tully, Astral Traveling 1977, Image number 1012035