Announcement Hand Made

Grayson Perry, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, 2011. Cast

Press release

Hand Made
Long Live Crafts

9 March - 20 May 2013

Although few people still practice a craft, the demand for handmade products seems larger than ever. Next spring Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will bring craftsmanship to life, using object, prints, demonstrations and workshops to allow the visitor to experience and explore the world of crafts.

Next spring Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents an exhibition bringing together the most beautiful examples of craftsmanship, past and present. The museum will display more than 500 objects, ranging from silver goblets, exquisite lace and simple earthenware pots to refined glasswork, woven baskets and designer furniture. Hand Made is not only a celebration of craft and craftsmanship, it also questions various assumptions and clichés
surrounding crafts. As part of the exhibition, the museum will provide artists, designers and specialist craftspeople with a podium to demonstrate their skills.

Celebrating crafts
‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’, the monumental cast-iron ship that the British artist Grayson Perry made in 2011 to honour all anonymous craftspeople in history, welcomes the visitor at the entrance to the exhibition. ‘Hand Made’ will leave the visitor amazed at what people are capable of creating: objects made by craftspeople from the Middle Ages to the present in every conceivable material and with the help of dozens of different techniques. They include the ‘Knotted Chair’ by Marcel Wanders, unique seventeenth-century woodcarvings from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and painted clogs by Viktor & Rolf. The exhibition will contain a studio in which craftspeople will demonstrate complex decorative arts techniques. ‘Modern crafts’ will also be featured: contemporary designers will show how they use new, digital technologies to make unique ‘custom-made’ products.

Fact and fiction
‘Handicrafts are unique, personal and irreplaceable.’
‘A traditional product is more honest and authentic than an industrial mass product.’
‘Amateur art is inferior.’

These are some of the clichés that exist in relation to crafts, and which will be explored in the exhibition. In ‘Hand Made’, exceptional examples of craftsmanship will support, add nuance to, or negate seven popular clichés around craft.

Workshops, films, markets and more
‘Hand Made’ will be accompanied by an extensive and varied programme of films and documentaries about crafts. The museum’s education space will function as a temporary ‘Crafts Studio’ in which specialist craftspeople will offer workshops in a broad range of crafts
such as knitting, 3D printing and woodcarving. The highlight will be the Hand Made markets in the museum’s courtyard, at which not only professional makers will offer their high-quality products but visitors will also have a chance to buy handmade products.

From March on ARTtube, the online video channel of five Dutch and Belgian museums, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will present a new series about decorative arts techniques.

Thanks to
‘Hand Made, Long Live Crafts’ is supported by the Mondriaan Fonds, VSBfonds, SNS REAAL Fonds, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie, Shell, SintLucas, Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Intangible Heritage, Etsy, Farrow & Ball, Netherlands Institute for sound and vision, Swan Market en all participating craftspeople . vtwonen is the mediapartner for the exhibition.