Fuller Craft Museum Welcomes New Director Jonathan Fairbanks

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The Board of Directors of Fuller Craft Museum has announce that Jonathan Leo Fairbanks has been named Fuller Craft’s new Director. Founder and Curator Emeritus of the Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fairbanks has had a long-standing relationship with the Massachusetts-based contemporary craft museum. In fact, he was honored recently by Fuller Craft (along with Sam Maloof in 2009) with a Luminaries award for his lifelong dedication to the arts. Fairbanks now joins New England’s only museum dedicated to exhibitions that explore life through the art of contemporary craft.

Jonathan Fairbanks, Director

“We are so pleased to gain the leadership of such a distinguished museum veteran and artist,” said Chris Rifkin, Chairman of the Board. “This is an exciting time for Fuller Craft. Jonathan has a profound understanding of the connectedness of craft to the artist, and to all of us in our everyday lives. This makes him the right person to lead our talented staff and make our museum a focal point, a mirror to what’s happening in the studio craft world. His vision, experience, and national reputation as one of the country’s foremost experts in craft will be tremendously beneficial to our museum.”

Fairbanks, who has been working with museums for more than 50 years, is considered to be one of the nation’s top authorities in arts and antiques. As a Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the MFA, Boston from 1970 – 1999, he added significant contemporary craft collections to the museum, including works by 50 contemporary studio furniture makers, plus hundreds of ceramic, glass, and mixed media artists.

“The new studio crafts movement is the most exciting thing going on in American art today. People relate to craft, the authentic creations of the hand, brain, and heart,” said Fairbanks. “I have had the pleasure of knowing Fuller Craft since the early 1970s and believe that this nimble, soulful organization has a special opportunity to shine a spotlight on the important values of craft and shaping materials. Boston was the first large urban area in America with a great arts and crafts organization. Fuller Craft Museum built upon that tradition, and today is one of a handful of museums in the country dedicated entirely to showcasing fine contemporary craft. I am honored to be a part of the future of Fuller Craft Museum.

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