About Douglas Craft

Called “one of the artists who … doesn’t seem to be able to do anything wrong,” by the Pittsburgh Press art critic Connie Kienzel, Douglas Craft has also been represented in Who’s Who in American Art since 1973, and in Outstanding Educators of America.

Douglas Craft was educated at the Art Institute of Chicago, and went on to become an eminent educator. He taught at the University of Kentucky, The Royal College of Art in London, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh and Cooper Union and School of Visual Arts in New York.

He has exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad and his paintings are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Newark Museum, and Jersey City Museum, among numerous others. Craft has had solo exhibitions of his work in Chicago; New Mexico; Kentucky; London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland and others, plus group shows nationally and internationally.

In 1993 Mr. Craft had an Invitational Retrospective of selected paintings at the Butler Institute of American Art.

More recently, in 2001, Craft exhibited “White Cycle,” a group of selected white paintings, at the Delaware Art Center Gallery in Narrowsburg, NY.

In that particular series of  work, Craft explored a predominantly white palette. Within these boundaries He created paintings that are infused with enormous subtlety, depth and surface nuance.

“White is pure, is virgin, is wonder, is color and is non-color,” said Mr. Craft. “It is meditative and is didactic. It encompasses all and denies everything. It is all and is nothing. Only the viewer can add to the image and the image is therefore veritable, life.”

excerpted from Art Space, by Sue Stoval, Guide Magazine (Catskill Mountain Foundation), 2001

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From the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance exhibition program, May 2012:

An exhibit of paintings by Doug Craft opens with a reception on Friday, May 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Alliance Gallery at the Delaware Arts Center in Narrowsburg, NY. The exhibit will be on view through June 9, 2012.

“In this exhibition, my work ranges from earlier lyrical and somewhat surrealistic work to more recent abstract explorations and construction,” artist Doug Craft explains. Craft’s work ranges from oil or acrylic on canvas to mixed media collages on paper and canvas. He cites his influences as the German painter Max Ernst; the manipulations of Picasso; and the works of French painter Henri Matisse. The layered and textured canvases and collages have a musical quality that is serene yet inherently vibrant and visually stimulating.

Artist and professor Alan Williams, who met Craft in England says, “Douglas is one of those true artists who does not follow fashion. His work is true and honest. The paintings have an intrinsic poetry and one never ceases to see new levels of revelation in the one work. I believe that Douglas is underestimated and his work will outlive and outshine much of what is being hailed as great today. His work does not exhaust itself at first viewing.”

Born in Greene, NY in 1924, Craft has lived and worked throughout the world. After serving in the Navy in WWII, he received his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). He stayed on to teach at SAIC for many years, and eventually went on to teach at the University of New Mexico, Royal College of Art in London, Cooper Union, among others. Craft has enjoyed solo exhibitions at 55 Mercer in New York, Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania, and Jersey City Museum in New Jersey. Retrospectives of his work have traveled throughout Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa.

Works by Doug Craft are in the collections of major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and the Newark Museum, as well as those of universities, including UC Santa Cruz, UNM Albuquerque, UK Lexington). Corporate collections include Apple, Pepsico, General Electric, and Chase.

Craft now resides in Jeffersonville with his wife and fellow artist Elizabeth Harms. Both are actively creating art in their converted studio barn.

3 Responses to About Douglas Craft

  1. Alan Williams says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time in New Jersey and london with Douglas and Elizabeth. Have lost touch and would love to make contact. I have relocated to New Zealand. Can you please forward my details. I have a small collage Douglas gave me and treasure the work Alan Williams

    • admin19 says:

      Dear Alan – I wanted to let you know that Doug Craft passed away on Wednesday evening (Oct. 14). I know you had been in touch with him. He died peacefully and was under the care of a nursing home. Elizabeth is doing OK.
      We’re planning a one afternoon exhibit in Doug’s honor on Nov. 1. If you would like to send a statement to be read, we’d be happy to make it part of the event.
      Be well!

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