Craft Revival

Alvic, Philis. Weavers of the Southern Highlands. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2003.

Weavers of the Southern Highlands examines the workings of the Craft Revival using weaving as the central thread of the analysis. Alvic’s work is organized topically, providing detailed sections on Berea College, Pi Beta Phi Settlement School, Penland, Weavers of Rabun, and a number of sections analyzing the general organization, production, and marketing of Craft Revival efforts. Alvic focuses on the period between the founding of these schools and 1950. This highly detailed academic inquiry into the creation and organization of the Craft Revival provides illustrations, maps, a table of contents, index, and a bibliography.

Alvic, Phillis. The Weaving Room of Crossnore School, Inc. Newland. NC: Avery County Historical Society and Museum, 1998.

This booklet includes both a history of Crossnore as a town, and Crossnore as a school and training facility, primarily of women weavers. The locals became integral to the weaving school, marketing their products statewide. The founder, Dr. Mary Sloop, organized both the founding of the school and the development of the industry. The facility began as a more general school, including a boarding school for children, and grew into a crafts school. This booklet is a good source for the history of that facility and of local weavers.

Alvic, Phillis. Weavers of the Southern Highlands: Penland. Murray, KY: P. Alvic, 1992.

This is a booklet about Lucy Morgan and the school she built, the Penland Weavers and Potters. The detailed history of Morgan is fascinating, as the author describes all the efforts taken to support the school and its mission of training and marketing weaving. Morgan’s project began as an offshoot of a school for local children and eventually branched out as a training school for weavers. It is noted in the opening mission statement for the school that it was intended for white Christian children specifically. The various technological developments in looms and how each innovation is integrated into Penland’s facility are discussed.

Alvic, Phillis. Weavers of the Southern Highlands: The Early Years in Gatlinburg. Murray, KY: P. Alvic, 1991.

A settlement school founded by the Pi Beta Phi women’s fraternity included weaving in its training. The school’s mission included a statement on educating mountain children ‘in their homes instead of away from them,’ a reference to the unfortunate need of many families to send the children away for them to receive education. In this booklet the method of weaving on a loom is explained. The challenges of the business are included, indicating that craftmembers had to look out for what was marketable, how to compete with their goods, and what management was required. As the public school system took over elementary education, the school's shift to a craft-based learning and production environment became essential.

Alvic, Phillis. Mary Hambidge Weaver of Rabun. Rev. ed. Murray, KY: P. Alvic, 1989, 1993.

This short biography details woman who learned to weave not out of necessity, but from a sense of destiny. She founded an organization to produce and sell higher-end woven fabric, specifically not like the weaving of ‘typical mountain craft.’ Hambidge used her husband’s designs, inspired from nature, to create unique colors and designs for her weaving. This booklet offers a new perspective on craft weaving, not as staying in the communities where it was created or sold to the tourist trade, but sent out of the area entirely for sale. Also interesting is that this weaving school did not originate as a children’s school; its focus was weaving from its inception.

Anderson, Bill. Southern Arts and Crafts: 1890-1940. Charlotte, NC: Mint Museum of Art, 1993.

An ambitious and unique exhibition, Southern Arts and Crafts was organized by North Carolina’s Mint Museum. This exhibition aimed to present a comprehensive focus on work produced during the historic Craft Revival period. The catalog contains short sketches of makers and organizations that were active during the period. In addition to numerous photographs, the catalog also includes four essays by a variety of scholars that lend perspective to the movement: “Role of Nature,” “Role of Women,” “Role of Education,” and “A National Role.” While the essays are uneven in depth and direction, they nevertheless contribute to understanding the complex movement that was the Craft Revival.

Appalachia Hand Craft Catalog. Berea, KY: Operation MATCH, 1974.

The catalog begins with a short story about the origin of the Match Center of Folk Art, a store selling a variety of handmade Appalachian crafts. This small pamphlet is a catalog in the shopper’s sense; items are listed with pictures, short descriptions and prices. The catalog is organized according to the types of crafts: quilts, patchwork, and woodwork for instance, in addition to categories such as toys, baby items, and accessories. This source would be useful to the researcher as an illustration of the market for, and the monetary value, of a variety of Appalachian crafts in the1970's. The catalog also depicts the variety of crafts, although there is no information on the production of the crafts or the artisans who made them.

Arnow, Jan. By Southern Hands: A Celebration of Craft Traditions in the South. Birmingham: Oxmoor House, 1987.

By Southern Hands covers a wide range of craft skills including: basketmaking, toy making, woodworking, sewing, broom making, spinning, dyeing, weaving, metal working, leather tooling, pottery making, and more. The story of each of these disciplines is not limited to the Appalachians, however, but encompasses the entire southern craft tradition. The sections of the book are divided by the type of craft and include a southern history of the craft, and he variety of crafts which fall under that discipline (such as the various types of basketmaking.) Each section also includes the craft making process and the materials utilized, patterns utilized, the work of a few individual artists, and great pictures from the past and the present. The resources section of the book provides a valuable bibliography for each of the crafts, a list of craft workshops available around the south, and a list of libraries, archives, and folk life centers with useful resources for the folk art researcher to consult. Magazine and journal titles are also listed in addition to museums housing southern crafts and festivals which feature traditional crafts.

Barker, Garry. The Handcraft Revival in Southern Appalachia, 1930-1990.  Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991.

In this personalized account of the Craft Revival the author relates his experiences as a part of the movement. Having attended Berea College, Barker was familiar with the philosophy of the Craft Revival through a still-active, hands-on craft production program there. In 1965 he took a position at the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild in Asheville as assistant to director Robert Gray. Barker's chronicle is somewhat narrow, focusing heavily on activity in Kentucky. Nevertheless, it is one of the few texts that surveys the Revival past the mid- 20th century and indicates its place as a foundation for contemporary craft activity.

Becker, Jane S. Selling Tradition: Appalachia and the Construction of an American Folk, 1930-1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Becker’s analysis of the Craft Revival examines the construction of notions of folk and traditional work, with a focus on the years 1930-1940. She incorporates the influence of social and gender relations, as well as economic and political considerations in shaping Revival efforts. Becker seeks to unpack the social and cultural underpinnings of the Craft Revival as the images and ideals of mountain culture were constructed to appeal to middle-class American interests. She includes illustrations, endnotes, table of contents, index, and bibliography. Becker’s dissertation, “Selling Tradition: The Domestication of Southern Appalachian Culture in 1930’s America” explores similar themes, focusing on the importance of “tradition” that folk arts represented to middle class Americans.

Bookout, Timmy Joe. “Traditional Basketmakers in the Southeastern and South Central United States.” Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1987.

Timmy Joe Bookout was head of the interior design program at Georgia State University. His thesis is an examination of Native American, African American and Euro-American basket makers in the southeastern United States. One hundred sixty-nine biographical sketches based on interviews conducted by Bookout are included in the thesis. This work is for a scholarly audience and includes illustrations (poorly reproduced), table of contents, list of figures, and list of tables (lacks an index).

Boris, Eileen.  Art and Labor: Ruskin, Morris, and the Craftsman Ideal in America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986.

Art and Labor does not focus specifically on the Appalachian region, as is evident in the title. The book has ten chapters which discuss the English crafts ideal, the arts and crafts movement in England and America, arts and crafts societies (particularly those in Boston and Chicago), social meanings of design, training and schools, woman’s crafts, the revival of textiles, art manufacturing, community, cooperatives, and the modern craftsman ideal. There are only a handful of references to the Appalachians in the book. The book’s focus on art and craft making is more general in scope, concentrating on American craft trends and sensibilities as a whole. The book includes endnote citations and an index of topics.

Caldwell, Katherine. From Mountain Hands: The Story of Allanstand Craft Shop’s First 100 Years. Asheville, NC: Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, 1955.

This short book gives a brief summary of the formation and history of Allanstand Craft Shop up to the mid-1990s. The book focuses on Francis Goodrich’s influence on the Asheville area during the Craft Revival period, also giving a brief summary of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild.

Coyne, John, ed.  The Penland School of Crafts Book of Pottery. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

This is an instructional book by Penland artists/craftsmen revealing pottery techniques through eight different projects. The artisans explain a number of approaches for potters of all skill levels through step-by-step instruction. With over 150 photographs included, this is an excellent introduction to pottery basics and techniques.

Craig, James Hicklin. The Arts and Crafts in North Carolina, 1699-1840.  Winston-Salem, NC: Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, 1965.

Craig provides a listing of North Carolina craftsmen using county court records, newspaper advertisements, and personal records. Each entry is a modified reproduction of the information in these primary sources. There is no analysis of craft techniques, production, or other factors. This is simply an attempt at cataloging working craftsmen in the years between 1699 and 1840. The vast majority of the craftsmen listed are from eastern North Carolina and the piedmont region with few mountain craftsmen listed. Notable trades include shipwrights, instrument makers, potters, painters, metalworkers, and others. A table of contents, index, and bibliography are included.

Crawford, Jean. Jugtown Pottery: History and Design. Winston Salem: J.F. Blair, 1964.

This work is a regional history of a pottery area in Moore County and Southern Randolph County known as Jugtown. Crawford provides an interesting look at Jacques and Juliana Busbee, the pioneers of Jugtown pottery. Included are examples of methods for preparing clay, forms, surface finishes, and processes. This work traces the pottery tradition of an area that falls outside of the geographic location considered for the Appalachian Craft Revival.

Davidson, John Allen, Jr. “Blacksmithing in Western North Carolina: A Folklore and History Project at an Appalachian Museum.” Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1992.

This is not, as the title might suggest, a book about blacksmithing; rather, it is a doctoral dissertation about a museum exhibit of which the subject was blacksmithing. Some information about the craft of smithing is included but the bulk of information relates more to museum studies. As it is a dissertation the text is esoteric in places, the notes are scattered throughout, and the image reproduction is poor.

DuPuy, Edward L. Artisans of the Appalachians. Asheville, NC: Miller Print Co., 1967.

DuPuy describes the progression of mountain craftsmanship by featuring photographs and biographies of 63 artisans from the Appalachian Mountains. More than half of the artists are from North Carolina and took an active role in the Craft Revival. Artisan biographies include quotes from the artists, descriptions of how they make their crafts, and the unique qualities that they add to their products. Artisans of the Appalachians provides an overview of some of the best known North Carolina artisans from the Craft Revival period.

Eaton, Allen H. Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands: New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1937; reissue Dover Publications, 1973.

This book is itself a work of art with 350 pages of somewhat dated but interesting information. It is as much a history text as a handicraft guide. Almost 200 photos, 58 by Doris Ulmann, grace the pages. The preface and introduction describe the book’s general scope and the methods and purpose of the study. Parts one, two, and three are divided into 23 chapters covering approximately ten specific craft areas. There are three valuable appendices (one on “colors derived from plants growing in the southern highlands”). Also included is a bibliography of recommended readings and a comprehensive index. The text describes the history and methods of diverse mountain handicrafts of pioneer days, Revival and present-day crafts, the rural handicraft movement, and the wider uses of handicrafts. This book pays homage to its topic and is a classic in its field. Persons in the crafts field should be familiar with it.

Erskine, Ralph. The Mountains and the Mountain Shop. Tryon, N.C.: Ralph C. Erskine Co., 1913.

“From him we learned the two great secrets of old time chairs… the hidden wedge of wood within the joints that made it possible for generations of mothers to rock their children to sleep on the same little chair till the thump, thump on the stones of the cabin floor had worn the posts down to the very rungs.” This is an example of the book’s 22 pages of flowery prose that is a heartfelt read, but little else. Woodworker Jim Gosnell is described in his timeless, rural environment, carving out a living making sturdy furniture pieces. Several photographs add to the image of backwards (backwoods) independence and self-sufficiency. No contents, chapters, credits, or notes are provided. The Mountains and the Mountain Shop is of minimal technical relevance, useful as a lost treasure stumbled upon by those requiring context for much broader studies.

Fariello, Anna. Movers and Makers: Doris Ulmann’s Portrait of the Craft Revival in Appalachia. Asheville, NC: Curatorial Insight, 2005.

Movers & Makers is a 40 page book produced as a catalog for a touring exhibition of the same name. As its title implies, the exhibition utilizes portraits taken by photographer Doris Ulmann to create a collective portrait of those who participated in the Craft Revival. Both the exhibition and catalog focus on historic factors that influenced the Craft Revival and on the “unintentional community of makers and patrons” it produced. These “movers” (recognized as leaders of the Craft Revival movement) and “makers” worked together to promote handcraft production in the southern Appalachian mountains. Along with a number of Ulmann photographs and a lead essay by the author, the catalog also contains guest essays by Richard Kurin, director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and Jean Haskell, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia.

Fields, Jay. The Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina. Asheville, NC: Hand Made in America, 2003.

This colorful book is a guide to crafts and where they can be found in western North Carolina. The book identifies where a visitor can find local crafts people, art galleries featuring local work, and artists' studios, and includes contact phone numbers, lists of places to hear live music, and suggests books for those wishing to read up on Appalachian crafts. The book includes maps and lists the places to be visited by area and town. There are even suggested restaurants and inns. The book contains many pictures of artwork by local craftspeople and photographs of craft schools, such as the Penland School. Every form of local craftsmanship is represented, from paintings to woodworking, pottery to chair making. The book includes an index and directions to most locations.

Ford, Bonnie Willis. The Story of the Penland Weavers. Penland, NC: [s.n., 1941].

This short book is an information-rich narrative describing the founding and operation of what is today’s Penland School of Craft. It traces the efforts and activities of Rufus Morgan, the early Penland Weavers, Lucy Morgan, and others up until the 1930s. The text offers an inside glimpse into the school’s early years, including its formation, marketing, the influence of Edward F. Worst, the 1932 Chicago World’s Fair, expansion, and plans for the future. Appropriate as a supplement for a study on or anyone interested in regional history with an emphasis on crafts and social benevolence. No information provided on publisher, contents, or citations.

Goodrich, Chauncey W. Frances Louisa Goodrich, 1856-1944. Privately published, circa 1944.

This privately-printed book, penned by Chauncey W. Goodrich, is a short biography as well as a memoriam to Frances Louisa Goodrich. Its flowery prose is influenced by both the period and family relations. In addition to biographical material, the short book, approximately 45 pages, also contains tributes assigned to Goodrich upon her death, e.g. memorial service bulletin, excerpts from addresses at her memorial service, and excerpts from letters about Goodrich. This book is useful for individuals interested in Goodrich, Asheville-based histories of the Presbyterian Church, Allanstand, the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Asheville, the Asheville College, Women’s Issues, and Appalachian crafts. No information provided on publication, contents, or citations.

Goodrich, Frances Louisa. Mountain Homespun. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.

A chronicle of Goodrich’s experiences as a leader in the Craft Revival movement, this book is divided into three sections. In the first, Goodrich describes the process used for making various crafts, as well as recounts the progression of these crafts in the Appalachian Mountains. In the second section, Goodrich discusses the Craft Revival in North Carolina, including her personal contributions and those of other individuals and organizations. The third section provides short stories about artisans with whom Goodrich worked with during the Craft Revival. This book explores the role of crafts in Appalachian society both before and during the Craft Revival. It also reveals the attitudes and perceptions of various outsiders who ventured into the mountains during the Craft Revival period.

Greene, James S., III. “Progressives in the Kentucky Mountains: The Formative Years of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, 1913-1930.” Ph.D. diss., Ohio State University, 1982.

This dissertation examines the foundation, development, and early programs of the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan, Kentucky, from 1913 to 1930. It was one of over 200 schools founded in the “mission school era” of Appalachian history and thus has relevance for students of Appalachia. The study is also applicable for studies examining community and school interaction. Greene describes the early vocation-based curriculum at which featured a weaving program at Pine Mountain. His dissertation is a narrative history that stops in the 1930s, before the school integrated arts and crafts into their basic studies. The text is useful for those interested in sites organized as social “bridges” between mountain communities and the outside world or those examining progressive, individualized, and nontraditional forms of early education.

Harris, Mary Emma. Arts at Black Mountain College. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987.

Harris provides a detailed account of the history of the Black Mountain College through an analysis of the art program. This work is an attempt to analyze the impact of the school through its radical approach to the educational process. Organized chronologically, Harris traces the founding of the school in 1933 through its closure in 1957. She discusses the role of craftwork as an artistic endeavor (part of a larger art curriculum) as opposed to Craft Revival efforts at creating home industries for mountain families. Black Mountain students produced furniture and textiles for sale, capitalizing on the Craft Revival’s creation of a market for such goods. Included are an extensive collection of photographs, endnotes, index, and bibliography over 315 pages. Arts at Black Mountain College builds upon Harris’ master’s thesis, “Visual Arts at Black Mountain College, 1933-1949” which covers the same subject matter as her book.

Heron-Allen, Edward Violin Making As it Was and Is. London: Ward Lock, 1885.

Heron-Allen traces the construction of a violin from the selection of the wood through the application of a varnish. The construction process is recounted in detail along with a section on the history of the instrument. Although this work is an analysis of the construction of a classical violin, many of the same tools and techniques were utilized by Appalachian craftsmen. Included is a table of contents, diagrams and illustrations, appendices, bibliography, and index.

Hill, Sarah H. Weaving New Worlds: Southeastern Cherokee Women and Their Basketry. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Pr., 1997.

Sarah H. Hill’s award winning book traces the historical development of the primary forms of Cherokee basketry. Using a framework based upon the four materials used by Cherokee basket weavers; white oak, rivercane, honey suckle and maple. Hill details the role of Cherokee women in developing and maintaining the art form over three hundred years. Written for a collegiate audience, it remains accessible to a general audience. It includes maps, numerous illustrations, detailed endnotes, and an exhaustive bibliography, and index.

Horwitz, Elinor Lander. Mountain People, Mountain Crafts. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1974.

Horwitz describes the role of various traditional mountain crafts; in Appalachian mountain culture, including music, toys, woodcarving, pottery, basketry, textiles, furniture, and other household items. In each chapter Horwitz gives a concise history of a craft’s role in mountain society and follows with a description of several artisans and their personal styles of production. The craftsmen mentioned are from a number of different areas. Many were participants in the Craft Revival.

Irwin, John Rice. Baskets and Basket Makers in Southern Appalachia. Exton, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 1982.

John Rice Irwin’s book details the history of the southern Appalachian basket. He explores in detail the styles, materials, and makers of Appalachian baskets. The work also investigates miniature, toy, and keepsake baskets, and examines the influence of Cherokee basket makers. Baskets and Basket Makers in Southern Appalachia is written for a general audience with highly detailed black and white photographs as well as sketches that detail basket weaving techniques. It also includes illustrations, a bibliography, and detailed index.

Isbell, Robert. The Keepers: Mountain Folk Holding on to Old Skills and Talents. Winston Salem, NC: John F. Blair Publishing, 1999.

The book provides detailed biographies on and interviews with Appalachian artists, craftspeople, and performers practicing authentic skills of a bygone era. Many of these skills, such as the herb gathering, food canning, and shop-keeping, do not directly relate to the subject of Appalachian craft making. However, there are also biographies on more traditional craftspeople, such as a chair maker, blacksmith, dulcimer maker, woodcarver, cabinet maker, and needlewoman. For each biography there is a picture of the artisan with one of their pieces. The biographies often detail the crafts person’s childhood, their craft making process, how they learned their skill, and the artist's individual ties to the Appalachian Mountains.

Jones, Michael Owen. Craftsmen of the Cumberlands: Tradition and Creativity. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1989.

Jones presents a profile of a Kentucky chair maker as an analysis of the construction of utilitarian objects as a form of self expression. He provides detailed information on the process for making a traditional Appalachian “settin” chair, an overview of the tradition of chair making in the southern Appalachian region, and information on chair making as a business. He delves further, though, to challenge the notion that tradition dictates form in the making of folk art. Craftsmen of the Cumberlands challenges assumptions about the makers of utilitarian wares and their products to present the complexity of these craftsmen and their wares.

Joslin, Michael. Highland Handcrafters: Appalachian Craftspeople. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers, 2005.

Joslin presents profiles of a number of southern Appalachian craftsmen in a book targeted at a non-academic audience. The profiles vary widely in time period and nature of activity, from a Revolutionary-era maker of gunpowder to contemporary carvers utilizing chainsaws. Notable activities include basket makers, potters, instrument makers, woodcarvers, painters, cheese makers, cider makers, a profile of Penland School, and Bea Hensley’s metal work. Joslin provides illustrations of each craftsman at work along with their products. Included are a number of Craft Revival-era makers and production centers.

Kardon, Janet, ed. Revivals! Diverse Traditions, 1920-1945: The History of Twentieth-Century American Crafts. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1994.

Kardon presents a collection of essays analyzing various craft revivals and traditions in the United States. Essays focus on topics such as “African-American Craft during the Era of Revivals” and “Native American Craft,” in southern Appalachia. In “From Mission to Market” the Appalachian region is directly addressed and includes essays based on New Deal programs. This work expands the scope of the Craft Revival from a regional event to the national level.

Lampell, Ramona and Millard Lampell. O, Appalachia: Artists of the Southern Mountains. New York: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, Inc., 1989.

O, Appalachia details the lives and work of 20 self-taught Appalachian artists including woodcarvers, basket carvers and weavers, painters, sculptors, and metal workers. The authors interview the artists for their background, inspiration, and methods. There is an abundance of quality photography by Michael Freeman and Paul Rocheleau that depicts the artists, their work, and the artistic process. According to the authors, Ramona and Millard Lampell, the themes of nature and morality dominate the artwork featured in the book. This focus is evident through the prominence of religious themes and animal representations present in the art.

Linn, Karen. That Half Barbaric Twang: The Banjo in American Popular Culture. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1991.

Linn presents a scholarly analysis of the construction of meaning attached to the banjo through a changing American cultural framework. The banjo is placed into historical context as the interpretation of its meaning is related to race, class, gender, and regional issues. Linn’s analysis spans from the pre-Civil War era through late 20th century folk revivals, with a focus between 1880 and the mid 20th century. Although not specifically mentioned, Linn provides a great deal of valuable information for an inquiry into the banjo in the Craft Revival era. Included are a table of contents, footnotes, illustrations, bibliography, and index.

McLaughlin, Jean W., ed. The Nature of Craft and the Penland Experience. New York: Lark Books, 2004.

This book is a collection of articles celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Penland School of Crafts. It contains a detailed history of the evolution of the school and craft education. Included are a timeline, biographical information of artists, and lists of school instructors, and resident artists. Although the book does not focus on the Craft Revival period, it gives a good overview of its legacy through the Penland School and its accomplishments. A number of color photographs are included, showing the work of contemporary craftsmen.

McNelley, Pat, ed. The First 40 Years: John C. Campbell Folk School. Brasstown, NC: 1966.

An overview of the first 40 years of the John C. Campbell Folk School, this work provides a brief history of the school. Starting from the school’s inception in 1926, McNelley includes short biographies of John C. Campbell, Olive Dame Campbell and others integral to the creation of the school. This book is a starting point for those interested in the history of the school.

Mint Museum. Ceramic Art of North Carolina. Charlotte, NC: ACT Applied CD Technologies, 1997.

This CD software, published by the Mint Museum of Charlotte, shows all aspects of North Carolina pottery. In brief film clips, potters present their preferred methods of producing ceramic art, from digging up the clay through different firing techniques. Other helpful tools include an interactive map of North Carolina pottery regions and 1200 images from the North Carolina Mint Museum collection.

Morgan, Lucy and Legette Blythe. Gift from the Hills: Miss Lcuy Morgan's Story of her Unique Penland Schoo.: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1971.

Lucy Morgan presents her personal account of the development of the Penland School. Her story spans 40 years, beginning the day she first arrived at Penland in 1920 and ending in the late 1950s when the book was written. The book is in first person and reads much like a novel. It includes rich detail in the form of conversations, places she visited, and the progression of events leading to the growth and development of Penland School from its beginning as the Episcopal Appalachian School, to the founding of the Penland School of Handicrafts in 1929, to today’s contemporary art venue.

Morton, Robert. Southern Antiques and Folk Art. Birgmingham, AL: Oxmoor House, Inc., 1976.

The book is divided in three main sections. The first section contains the “arts of fine living” including several periods and styles of cabinetry, the art of the Silversmith, fine ceramics, and glass work. The second section entitled “objects of utility and commerce” includes items for the home such as kitchen utensils, quilts, textiles and needlework, and tools. The final section “Amusements, diversions, and the arts” contains everything from paintings to sculptures, carvings, handcrafted instruments, drawings, calligraphy, and toys. More a coffee table book than a researcher's resource, this book is best consulted by the researcher for photographs of art objects. The large photographs of the antiques and artwork take center stage with beautiful examples of Southern handicrafts. The photographs include descriptions and credits. The appendix includes a bibliography and a catalog of illustrations. The book is not limited to the Southern Appalachian region; its scope includes antiques and artwork from throughout the south.

Payne, Elizabeth Eaddy. “John Ruskin’s Romantic Idealism and Its Influence on Early Arts and Crafts Institutions in the Southern Appalachians.” Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1991.

This dissertation is appropriate for both graduate students and individuals interested in a precise, but comprehensive, study of the American Arts and Craft movement. Primary attention is paid to the life, ideals, and influence of John Ruskin. Other specifics include aesthetic, socio-economic, and educational theory applied to art and art history. Both English and American art institutions and entities are examined. The work contains an informative, reviewable contents page and fruitful bibliographic entries about John Ruskin and the Craft Revival of the southern Appalachians. Focused on the 19th and early 20th centuries, the text is useful for those interested in art education, social and cultural art theory, folk and settlement schools, craft revival, and the Southern Appalachian highlands.

Photographs of Appalachian Craftsmen: A Retrospective Exhibition, April 6-May 1, 1976. Cullowhee, NC: Western Carolina University, 1976.

This book accompanied a Doris Ulmann photography exhibit at Western Carolina University. Containing a short preface by project director, Ray Menze, this book exhibits beautiful examples of Ulmann’s work.

Roberson, Ruth Haislip, ed. North Carolina Quilts. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.

North Carolina Quilts is a highly detailed scholarly examination of the history of quilting in North Carolina seeking to “document and celebrate this rich artistic legacy.” Organized topically, differing patterns and styles are presented in historical context from the colonial era through the 20th century. Styles are discussed using specific examples and information on their makers, providing information and production and utilization. Also included is a section tracing the general history of textiles in North Carolina with national and international influences. Although the Craft Revival is not explicitly mentioned, there are examples of quilting from the Craft Revival era in the mountains. Included are a table of contents, extensive illustrations (including photographs of quilts and their makers), end notes, bibliography, and index.

Scarborough, Quincy J., Jr. North Carolina Decorated Stoneware: The Webster School of Folk Potters. Fayetteville: Scarborough Press, 1986.

Scarborough provides information about a distinct school of northern-influenced pottery that found its way, via the Webster family, from Hartford, Connecticut to Fayetteville, North Carolina in the early 19th century. Scarborough’s analysis combines archival and newly discovered material to record the genealogy and activities of these prolific potters who produced a style of utilitarian, elaborately incised, salt-glazed stoneware. Scarborough describes the Webster School, its potters, its wares, its beginnings, and its recent rediscovery and growing popularity. Over 80 photographs and images appear in a 93-page comprehensive arrangement with a foreword, table of contents, endnotes, and bibliography, written for general knowledge of the topic or as a supplement for any historical account of the region or the craft.

Searles, P. David. “Alice Lloyd and the Betterment Movement in Appalachia.” Ph.D. diss., University of Kentucky, 1993.

This dissertation examines the life and work of Alice Lloyd who was involved in community and educational endeavors as part of the “Betterment Movement” in the early 20th century in rural Appalachian Kentucky. The work is a valuable tool for individuals interested in social and benevolent issues, the positive and negative perceptions and realities of the Betterment Movement, and biographical information about Alice Lloyd. The work is presented chronologically with well-organized, post chapter citations and a bibliography. At 300 pages, the essay examines an impoverished and remote area of Appalachia and the outside influences that labored there. A regional, educational study of cultural and economic challenges, rather than an analysis of craft, the study provides context to understanding the social impulses behind the Craft Revival movement.

Sloop, Mary T. Martin. Miracle in the Hills. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1953.

This is a first person account of one of the founders of the Weaving Room, a program affiliated with the Crossnore School aimed at keeping alive the mountain tradition of hand-weaving. The majority of the book focuses on Dr. Sloop’s experiences in moving to and aiding the development of the community of Crossnore, North Carolina, with one chapter devoted to the establishment of the weaving program. This is not an analytical or scholarly work and is not footnoted. Included are a number of illustrations.

Southern Highland Craft Guild. The Bicentennial Collection: Of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild.  Oteen, NC: Southern Highland Craft Guild, 1976.

This is a collection of objects that are “representative of the finest crafts created in the southern highlands, past and present.” The book is divided into five sections: clay, fiber, native materials, wood, and other media. But the objects selected are“not [an] attempt to represent the folk life of the highlands, rather it is an effort to represent visually the endeavors of the southern highlander as he used the material at hand to create a toy for son or daughter; fabric for clothing or decorating; a basket for carrying; or a carving to barter with or sell.” Most of the selected crafts are dated and some come from the Craft Revival period, but the traditions and techniques of the Appalachian artisan is seen throughout.

Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. Crafts in the Southern Highlands. Asheville, NC: Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, 1958.

Published soon after the end of the Craft Revival, this short book provides information on artisans’ crafts and techniques in the 1950’s. It features brief examinations of traditional Appalachian crafts, including basketry, pottery, doll making and quilts. The 73 photographs are in black and white and are of high quality. General audience.

Southern Highlands Craft Guild. The Test Of Time: An exhibition of works by Southern Highland Craft Guild Members. Berea, KY: Southern Highland Craft Guild, 2001.

The short catalogue details the works of 15 members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The catalogue provides excerpts on craft schools and industries indigenous to the area surrounding Berea Kentucky including the Hindman Settlement School and Churchill Weavers Studio. Accompanying these passages are several small photographs of the craft production from these locations during the early 1900s. The handbook also provides pictures and short biographies of notable Southern Highland Craft Guild members and their works. The catalogue has little general information, but could be consulted as a source for research focused on crafts or artisans from the area surrounding Berea Kentucky.

Stephenson, Sue H. Basketry of the Appalachian Mountains. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1977.

Stephenson provides a general overview of Appalachian basketry, but most of the work is devoted to techniques used in the making of Appalachian baskets including preparation of materials and weaving patterns. This short work is extensively illustrated with black and white photographs and drawings of baskets and basketmaking techniques. General audience. Bibliography, index.

Stevens, Bernice A. A Weavin’ Woman.  Gatlinburg, TN: Buckhorn Press, 1971.

A Weavin' Woman is a privately published tribute to Clementine Douglas, founder and owner of the Spinning Wheel, a cottage industry located in Asheville, North Carolina, during the Craft Revival. An expert in vegetable dyeing, Clem Douglas hired local women to spin and weave for her successful cottage industry. In December 1929 a group of Craft Revival enthusiasts met at the Spinning Wheel to further the idea of a cooperative marketing group that was formally organized the following spring as the Southern Mountain Handicraft Guild (the Guild continues to operate as the Southern Highland Craft Guild). Douglas took an active role in organizing and running the Guild and in helping to complete the merger between the Guild and Allanstand, a retail operation owned by Frances Goodrich.

Stevens, Bernice A.  Our Mountain Craftsmen. Gatlinburg, TN: Buckhorn Press, 1969.

This booklet was printed as a promotional tool for craft producers in and around Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It profiles a number of crafts people (including candle makers, woodcarvers, furniture makers, metal workers, weavers, broom makers, and others), craft shops, the Arrowmont School, and the Craftsman’s Fair. Stevens includes illustrations of each craftsman at work.

Ulmann, Doris. The Appalachian Photographs of Doris Ulmann. Penland, NC: Jargon Society, 1971.

Upon her death, photographer Doris Ulmann left thousands of negatives and some original prints, many of which were taken in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Her negatives were later printed by a foundation that bore her name and distributed to organizations named in her will, including Berea College and the John C. Campbell Folk School. Most of Ulmann's photographs taken in the region are from the 1930s when she traveled south from her Manhattan apartment with her assistant, John Jacob Niles who provided an introduction to the book. This volume and Eaton's Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands are the two most definitive volumes of Ulmann's work in this genre.

Venable, Sam. Mountain Hands: A Portrait of Southern Appalachia. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2000.

Mountain Hands is a collection of photographs and stories of southern Appalachian people and their crafts. Common craft topics such as doll making, clock making, and instrument making are shown as well as less conventional activities like beekeeping, moon shining, rail splitting, and grave digging. Venable and his photographer, Paul Efird, searched the southern Appalachians to find these artisans and many of the photographs are beautiful representations, although topics are explored superficially.

Warren, Harold F. A Right Good People.  Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1974.

Warren examines the contributions of some well known figures in southern Appalachian cultural history. Bascom Lamar Lunsford, pioneer of Appalachian folk festivals, and Dewey Harmon, Appalachian toy maker, are both highlighted in this work. Also included are sections on a variety of aspects of regional lifestyle including Cherokee stick ball and pig butchering.

Weaver, Emma. Crafts in the Southern Highlands. Asheville, NC: Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, 1971.

Printed by the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, this booklet is a non-academic presentation of the work of craftsmen in the southern mountains. Topically organized, Weaver recounts the development of the Craft Revival and the formation of the Guild within this framework. She then presents information on a number of craft skills including weaving, woodcarving, pottery, basketmaking, instrument making, metal work, and others. Included are a number of photographs depicting craftsmen at work, examples of products, quotations, and anecdotes.

Whisnant, David E.  All that is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983.

Whisnant presents a scholarly analysis of the Craft Revival as a systemic cultural intervention effort. He argues that the Revival was an example of the interaction of disparate cultural systems within a broader social, political, and economic context. Whisnant focuses on the efforts of Olive Dame Campbell and the John C. Campbell Folk School, Hindman Settlement School, and the White Top Music Festival. Included are a table of contents, endnotes, index, and illustrations.

Wilson, Kathleen Curtis. Textile Art from Southern Appalachia: The Quiet Work of Women. Johnson City, TN: Overmountian Press, 2001.

Textile Art from Southern Appalachia is a survey that examines woven coverlets found in a five-state region of the southern mountains. Working mostly in western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia, Wilson identifies period coverlets and interviews their owners to reveal the stories behind their making. She compiles short biographies and family photographs with images of the woven coverlets under study. Wilson's book is visually rich. Each coverlet is photographed twice; the whole piece that reveals the overall pattern of the work and a detail taken close enough to allow the reader to examine overlapping threads and construction.

Wilson, Eleanor Lambert. My Journey to Appalachia: A Year at the Folk School. Fairview, NC: Bright Mountain Books, 2004.

My Journey to Appalachia is a personal account of life at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina through the eyes of a self-described “city girl.” Founded in 1925 by Olive Dame Campbell in North Carolina as an experimental school for mountain youth, the school continues to operate on its original Brasstown campus, teaching traditional and non-traditional craft skills. In 1941, after graduating from Vassar College, Ellie Lambert traveled to the Folk School to spend a year there. Lambert captures the personal adventure of spending time in the country with like-minded seekers of a simple and rewarding life.

Wolfe, Charles. The Devil’s Box: Masters of Southern Fiddling. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1997.

The Devil’s Box is a collection of profiles of influential southern fiddlers. Not intended as a complete history of the fiddle or southern fiddlers, Wolfe attempts to provide “an interlocking series of studies of fiddlers” from 1925-1955. The introduction places the fiddle and “hillbilly” music in a southern historical context and is followed by profiles of such prominent fiddlers as Eck Robertson, Uncle Jimmy Thompson, Bob Wills, and others. This work is not footnoted although sources are acknowledged at the end of some chapters. Included are a table of contents, discography, and index.

Bibliography prepared by George Frizzell.
Annotations written by Jason Woolf and Patrick Velde.
Edited by Bob Strauss and Ann Hallyburton.