The Crafts Study Centre was founded as a charity on 1st April 1970 as a research and study collection of modern craft. It was located at first in the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath, and the collections transferred to Farnham in the year 2000. The Crafts Study Centre has since gained standalone accreditation status as a university museum of modern craft set in the context of the specialist arts university, in a partnership with the University for the Creative Arts.
In order to celebrate 50 years, the current Trustees of the Crafts Study Centre and members of the Centre’s Acquisitions Committee have each selected a group of objects that are of particular interest to them and their fields of study in modern craft. This will establish an exhibition of personal scrutiny and research mediated by expert witnesses: the makers, curators, educationalists and academics who oversee today’s Crafts Study Centre as the legal guardians and advisors of the newly-reconfigured charitable incorporated organisation.
Objects and archives from across the range of the collections have been selected, to create a symbolic exhibition celebrating 50 years of assiduous collecting, exhibiting, research and writing: establishing a major contribution to craft history and understanding in England and internationally. As Alison Britton, the Chair of the Crafts Study Centre has written, the exhibition shows how ‘craft moves forward through its uses of history, looking and comparing, in pursuit of a skilful contemporary relevance’.