Artisans and Academics

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Education/Learning, Skilling, Training, Professional Devt.

Artisans and Academics

McComb, Jessie F.

KEYWORDS YOUR VIEWS
Although many people are involved with craft in America, both in terms of creation and purchasing, few are intimately entangled in the scholarly discourse of these Asian craft objects. The professors, curators and critics that do venture into the academic world of Indian craft often remain so far removed from the public sphere that little of this discourse ever becomes accessible to the public at large. This leaves most Americas with little information about the crafts they view in catalogues, high-end stores and import shops. As I have written before, there are certain organizations, such as Aid to Artisans that attempt cultural explanations with their sale of craft objects. However, these explanations barely breach the academic line, for lack of time, space and attention span of the buyer. There are also a few magazines that cater to the general public and are widely available at common venues such as book stores and magazines stalls. Ornamentations, one such magazine, recently featured the culture and jewelry of the Naga's from Northeastern India. Although much of the article focused on the dwindling art and the need for preservation, it proved to bring more of an explanation about the rich heritage of one of India's largest tribal areas. Among scholarly journals, available to the public only through personal subscription or large libraries, there are a few that focus on Asian arts and crafts. These journals, often published through universities with extensive doctoral programs for Asian art, create the majority of the American discourse around Indian a...
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