Looking Back and Moving Forward: The 2017 Smithsonian Craft Show

Don’t miss the always spectacular Smithsonian Craft Show, beginning April 27.


embroidered weaving of lotus flower

Debroah Falls, decorative fibers

Mark your calendars for the 35th annual Smithsonian Craft Show, the most prestigious juried show of fine American crafts in the country. On display and for sale will be works from 120 artists representing all facets of contemporary design and craft—basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art and wood. Serious collectors and casual visitors alike will find one-of-a-kind works of art in all price ranges. There will also be special events throughout the show on the theme “Looking Back and Moving Forward” featuring nationally known experts in the field of fine craft and design.

Lloyd Herman, founding director of the Renwick Gallery, will be the show’s Honorary Chair. He is a leader in the growth of craft as fine art as well as the inspiration for the Smithsonian Craft Show.

Colorful quilt featuring dancers

Faith Ringgold, “Groovin’ High”

Faith Ringgold, world-renowned fiber artist, is the recipient of the craft show’s 2017 Visionary Award, presented to artists who are leaders in sculptural arts and design, who have works in major museums, and who have demonstrated distinction, creativity, artistry and, of course, vision in their respective medium.

Ringgold has been an art educator both in public schools and in higher education; her work weaves compelling, powerful narratives of American life as seen through the lens of the African American female experience. Ringgold is a master of many media, including sculpture and books, but she is best known for her narrative quilts that embody the development of craft into fine art. Her first book, Tar Beach, was based on a quilt with the same title. Tar Beach has received more than 30 awards, including the coveted Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King award.

Colorful quilt featuring skyline and night sky

Faith Ringgold, “Tar Beach II”

Several of Ringgold’s quilts, on loan from ACA Galleries in New York will be featured in the exhibition Faith Ringgold: Narrative Quilts” at the National Building Museum April 26 through May 7.


Thursday, April 27 to Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thursday 10:30 am – 8:00 pm

Friday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Saturday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Preview Night – April 26, 2017 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Attend the Honorary Chair reception and Visionary Award ceremony while meeting artists and shopping. Enjoy cocktails and a buffet.

Friends Night Out – Thursday, April 27, 2017   5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Fun, shopping and signature drinks created by some of the most notable mixologists in DC.


National Building Museum

401 F Street, NW, Washington DC 20001

Metro Red Line – Judiciary Square Station, F Street Exit


$200 Preview Night

$50 Reception

$20 Daily Admission, including program

$15 Groups of 10 or more by advance purchase

$17 On-line ticket sales

$30 Two-day pass


Wooden vessel with curved handle

Steven Potts, wood

Gold basket with pearl egg

Ken Loeber, jewelry

Three yellow vessels with stems

Cliff Lee, ceramics

Vase with metal petals

Rebecca Hungerford, metal

Pottery vase with Native American designs

Marvin Blackmore, ceramics

The Smithsonian Craft Show, produced by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, supports yearly grants to the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries, nine research facilities, traveling exhibits and the National Zoo.  Over $11.5 million in grants and endowments have been awarded since 1966.

Posted: 10 April 2017
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The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.