Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 3:39pm

We are sorry to share with you news of the death of another major figure in the contemporary craft field. The internationally recognized furniture maker, Wendell Castle died in his Scottsville, New York, home at the age of 85 on January 20. Recognized as the “father of the art furniture movement,” Castle was a prominent figure in the late twentieth century, known for regularly blurring the boundaries that existed between handmade furniture and sculpture. A native of Emporia, Kansas, Castle reimagined the forms furniture could take, working primarily in wood and bronze. In his early career, he pioneered the use of stack laminating to create unusual expressive forms for functional pieces and in the early 1980s he produced a series of trompe l’oeil works. Later, he responded to Art Deco and Neoclassicism traditions and styles. In his 70s and 80s, Castle, who worked up until the end of his life, began to employ digital technology for the creation of new pieces. The advancements Castle created at all stages of his career were enthusiastically supported by exhibitions around the world and numerous publications.


His pieces can be found in the permanent collections of over 50 major international museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Victoria + Albert Museum in London. RAM currently holds eight examples of his work dating from 1967 through 1996. This includes his important stack lamination Desk that was included in the groundbreaking craft exhibition Objects: USA in 1969. He is survived by his wife, the ceramic sculptor Nancy Jurs. 

Read more about his career here

Read more in USAToday

Read more in Hyperallergic


Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 4:31pm

We announce, with sadness, the death of internationally respected ceramic sculptor Betty Woodman on January 2, at the age of 87. Woodman’s career developed during an era when it was challenging for ceramic artists and for women to have the same kinds of full careers their male colleagues in the sculpture field were able to attain. However, she managed to produce an impressive body of work in a career of remarkable achievements. She moved from her early work in functional ceramics to creating large-scale sculptural versions of the pitchers, vases, and ewers she saw historically produced by a number of civilizations. These works were joyfully decorated with lushly colored abstract glazes. As the scale of these works grew, Woodman began to create installations out of groupings of vessels or stacked arrangements of vase forms. She frequently painted backgrounds and alcoves for these installations. This work in painting also led her to create limited edition graphics and monoprints.

Woodman is represented in most major museum collections that cover the 20th century ceramics field. She was inducted into the American Craft Council’s College of Fellows in 1996 and was awarded the ACC’s Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship in 2014.  In 2006, she was the first living female artist to have a retrospective of her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. RAM is proud to own six examples of her work.
Read more about her career
Read more in The New York Times

Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 3:19pm

We have learned, with sadness, of the recent death of significant contemporary craft artist, Marjorie Schick. A pioneer in contemporary art jewelry, Schick created non-traditional adornment, often colorful and over-sized. Her work is in RAM’s permanent collection and it was prominently featured in RAM’s 2011 exhibition, To Wear or Not to Wear

To read more about her career

Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 3:07pm

RAM is very pleased to announce the museum received a grant from the Racine Community Foundation to expand the RAM on the Road program for Racine Unified students.

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Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 10:26am

It is with deep sadness that we inform you that Lloyd Cotsen, collector and philanthropist, passed away peacefully at home on May 8, 2017.  He lived an extraordinary life for 88 years, with a loving spirit and a generous heart.  We will all miss his judgment and his artistic sensitivity as his vital work continues.
Mr. Cotsen began collecting in the early 1960s, and had a particular interest in fiber art. In 2008, he donated a large collection of baskets by contemporary artists to RAM. This 151 piece collection augmented the museum’s existing collection of 300 basket works, making RAM one of the largest public repositories of this type of art in the United States.
In an excerpt from the 2008 publication, Basketworks: The Cotsen Contemporary American Basket Collection, Bruce W. Pepich, Executive Director and Curator of Collections wrote: “The arrival of the Cotsen Contemporary American Basket Collection at RAM positively impacts a permanent collection that is already actively documenting the basket making field. This gift established a broad record of a wide range of activity that took place in the fibers field at the end of the 20th century. We are very grateful to him for his generosity to RAM and thank him for the supportive contributions he has made to the field of contemporary fibers."
On May 21, 2017, RAM opened The Box Project: Uncommon Threads showcasing commissioned works by 36 of the world’s top fiber artists. These artists, many of whom work on a large scale, were challenged to create an original piece within the confines of a small box. Organized by the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research (CFAR) with RAM, this traveling exhibition presents works commissioned by Lloyd Cotsen between 2004 and 2013 together with 22 large-scale fiber art pieces on loan. Open through August 27, 2017, RAM is the only Midwestern venue for this show before its final stop in Washington, D.C. We are honored to present The Box Project: Uncommon Threads at RAM as a tribute to Mr. Cotsen’s legacy.
If you would like to read more about Mr. Cotsen, please follow the links below from the LA Times and The New York Times.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times

Read more in The New York Times

Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 10:33am

RAM has learned, with sadness, of the death on April 7 of John Glick, one of the nation’s most respected studio potters. Glick operated Plum Tree Pottery in Farmington Hills, Michigan, in suburban Detroit from 1964 through 2016. He had recently closed the pottery to retire to California with his wife, looking forward to the next stage in his life.

Glick was a Detroit native who was born in 1938 and received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1962. His work is infused with a quite sense of experimentation in patterning and glaze decoration. Both his forms and surfaces demonstrated a respect for Asian aesthetics and decorative arts traditions. Glick was internationally respected and admired in the field, having published numerous articles on ceramics and appearing in more than 30 books on ceramics around the world. He was an avid leader of workshops and throughout his career he offered an assistantship program, through which Glick mentored 33 young ceramists, many of whom have gone on to their own successful careers in the field.

Glick received two Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Awards in 1961 and 1972, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1977 and 1988, and a Michigan Foundation for the Arts Governor’s Award in 1977. His work is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City; and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2016, he was the subject of a career retrospective at the Cranbrook Art Museum, John Glick: A Legacy in Clay. RAM currently holds seven examples of Glick’s work in its collection and he has been represented by the RAM Museum Store since 2014.