The Museum of Craft and Design reopened in a new industrial location this month after a spate of pop-up shops and a move from its previous downtown San Francisco location. Board members opted for cheaper rents rather than higher foot traffic in order to continue with the broad mandate its name implies.
From a cultural standpoint, what’s particularly appealing about the museum is its name. Design and—even more so—craft occupy a more quotidian space in public perception of arts than, say, fine arts like oil painting. These terms can be an ego punch, but they’re also a way to lower the barrier to entry that the high walls of a museum can present—at least for museumgoers. It’s arbitrary, but the difference between “craft” and “art” is huge in the American psyche. The first seems more housework than artwork—although its creation can be be finer.
But really, the... keep reading