High atop the Southern mountains lived the Appalachian settlers. They were people unconcerned with convention who lived removed from the throes of civilization for more than a century. From mighty blacksmiths to prized basket-makers, their crafts were well suited to a remote existence, giving them 'the tools to tame the wilderness.'
Hand thrown pottery preserved and transported food. Cornhusk dolls lent amusement to children's playtime. Chair making and woodcarving added beauty and functionality to the home, and the celebrated art of the coverlet was a legacy of tradition and hard work.
Though early Appalachian society was prosperous, the technology of the Industrial Revolution presented new challenges. Potters fell victim to highway robbers and was then replaced by glass and metal containers. These new materials infiltrated rural markets and served as better storage alternatives. In addition, the one-person art of the coverlet was forever changed when Francis Goodrich's Allanstand Cottage Industries sought to commercialize its production and circulate the coverlet to the general public. This increased exposure led to the development of faster production techniques and resulted in economic hardship for the hill country.
Museographs' Appalachian Handicrafts records the development of these American craftsmen and –women, from humble beginnings to modern success stories. Extensive biographies introduce you to major figures within the society, such as Daniel Boone and Alvin and Trevele Wood. This cleverly written document illustrates, with personal flair, how evolving Highland art has thrived in both its early and its current forms.