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The Racine Art Museum has the largest contemporary craft collection in the United States. Over the last 10 years, RAM’s holdings have almost quadrupled, from 2,200 to close to 10,000 pieces. Over half of these pieces represent the museum’s focus on contemporary craft from internationally recognized artists—with concentrations in ceramics, fiber, glass, metals, art jewelry, polymer, and wood. Artists represented include Wendell Castle, Dale Chihuly, Lia Cook, Arline Fisch, Eleanor Moty, Joel Philip Myers, Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Albert Paley, Toshiko Takaezu, Leonore Tawney, Peter Voulkos, and several hundred more.

The other portion of RAM’s collection is a regionally significant holding of works on paper—prints, drawings, watercolor, and photography, as well as artists’ books—from the 1930s to the present. Other media, such as painting and sculpture, are represented in smaller numbers as makes sense relative to collecting goals.

Further distinguishing RAM is the desire to build archives with concentrations of multiple works by individual artists or concentrations of certain types of objects—such as teapots or baskets. While some institutions choose to limit their acquisitions to one or two examples per artists—except in special circumstances—RAM is often interested in representing a large cross-section of a career or body of work. This extends to developing archives that may include studio furniture, correspondence, books, and other materials that document and outline professional paths and achievements.

COLLECTIONS CURRENTLY ON LOAN

Ceramics

RAM’s collection of ceramics, which focuses on mid- to late- 20th century American clay, is the most comprehensive segment of its permanent collection.

Exploring late twentieth century issues in the medium, the collection examines function, ornament, decoration, and abstraction as well as allegory and narrative in pieces from ceramists like Jack Earl, Richard Shaw, and Ken Ferguson. A notable component of RAM’s ceramic collection is the Donna Moog Teapot collection, which documents more than 250 teapots from the 1980s and 1990s.

VIEW CERAMICS COLLECTION
Ceramic

Ceramics

Ceramic

RAM’s collection of ceramics, which focuses on mid- to late- 20th century American clay, is the most comprehensive segment of its permanent collection.

Exploring late twentieth century issues in the medium, the collection examines function, ornament, decoration, and abstraction as well as allegory and narrative in pieces from ceramists like Jack Earl, Richard Shaw, and Ken Ferguson. A notable component of RAM’s ceramic collection is the Donna Moog Teapot collection, which documents more than 250 teapots from the 1980s and 1990s.

VIEW CERAMICS COLLECTION
Fibers

Fiber

One of the largest in the US, RAM’s contemporary basket collection forms a major portion of its works of fiber art.

A substantial gift from Karen Johnson Boyd helped RAM establish this comprehensive body of modern baskets. It represents at least 25 major artists who work with fiber, including Lillian Elliot, John McQueen, Leon Niehues and Kay Sekimachi. These artists used both natural and industrial materials to create the works in RAM’s collection, in addition to techniques such as looping, knotting, and paper making.

VIEW FIBER COLLECTION

Fiber

Fibers

One of the largest in the US, RAM’s contemporary basket collection forms a major portion of its works of fiber art.

A substantial gift from Karen Johnson Boyd helped RAM establish this comprehensive body of modern baskets. It represents at least 25 major artists who work with fiber, including Lillian Elliot, John McQueen, Leon Niehues and Kay Sekimachi. These artists used both natural and industrial materials to create the works in RAM’s collection, in addition to techniques such as looping, knotting, and paper making.

VIEW FIBER COLLECTION

Glass

Combining the work of American artists with important pieces from international artists, RAM’s Studio Glass collection documents worldwide developments in glass since 1964.

Because RAM has attempted to document the evolution of this movement from the beginning to the present, its collection contains artists and bodies of work not frequently found in public museums. Masterpieces in the collection include Harvey Littleton, Ginny Ruffner, Joel Philip Myers, William Morris, Dale Chihuly, and more.

VIEW GLASS COLLECTION
Glass

Glass

Glass

Combining the work of American artists with important pieces from international artists, RAM’s Studio Glass collection documents worldwide developments in glass since 1964.

Because RAM has attempted to document the evolution of this movement from the beginning to the present, its collection contains artists and bodies of work not frequently found in public museums. Masterpieces in the collection include Harvey Littleton, Ginny Ruffner, Joel Philip Myers, William Morris, Dale Chihuly, and more.

VIEW GLASS COLLECTION
Art Metals

Metals

RAM’s metal collection focuses on American studio jewelry, rather than holloware and architectural metal work.

They document the major movements of American studio jewelry ranging from a concern with semi-precious material, to more sculptural forms that challenge the relationship between art and the body and finally today’s preoccupation with the narrative and the figure.

VIEW METALS COLLECTION

Metals

Art Metals

RAM’s metal collection focuses on American studio jewelry, rather than holloware and architectural metal work.

They document the major movements of American studio jewelry ranging from a concern with semi-precious material, to more sculptural forms that challenge the relationship between art and the body and finally today’s preoccupation with the narrative and the figure.

VIEW METALS COLLECTION

Polymer

The Racine Art Museum’s recent commitment to establishing a permanent collection of polymer jewelry, beads and sculptural objects led to a groundbreaking exhibition.

Back in the Fall of 2011, Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads opened and featured over 200 objects (both from RAM’s permanent collection and on loan) made of polymer, including adornment, vessels, and furniture. The show emphasized the development of this material as significant medium for artwork in recent decades.

VIEW POLYMER COLLECTION
Polymer

Polymer

Polymer

The Racine Art Museum’s recent commitment to establishing a permanent collection of polymer jewelry, beads and sculptural objects led to a groundbreaking exhibition.

Back in the Fall of 2011, Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads opened and featured over 200 objects (both from RAM’s permanent collection and on loan) made of polymer, including adornment, vessels, and furniture. The show emphasized the development of this material as significant medium for artwork in recent decades.

VIEW POLYMER COLLECTION
Wood

Wood

Works of art in wood are a portion of RAM’s collection that has grown in recent years.

RAM’s wood collection already features remarkable examples of contemporary furniture, including sculptural pieces by artists like Wendell Castle. Recently, the museum has begun to develop a collection of turned vessels from artists such as Mark Lindquist and Edward Moulthrop that highlights the natural characteristics of wood itself.

VIEW WOOD COLLECTION

Wood

Wood

Works of art in wood are a portion of RAM’s collection that has grown in recent years.

RAM’s wood collection already features remarkable examples of contemporary furniture, including sculptural pieces by artists like Wendell Castle. Recently, the museum has begun to develop a collection of turned vessels from artists such as Mark Lindquist and Edward Moulthrop that highlights the natural characteristics of wood itself.

VIEW WOOD COLLECTION

Love Art?  You’ll Love RAM!

The mission of the Racine Art Museum is to exhibit, collect, preserve, and educate in the contemporary visual arts. Stay up-to-date about special events as well as support the mission of the largest contemporary craft collection in America:

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