In 2020, Arrowmont celebrates 75 years as a school of arts and crafts. ARROWMONT: 75 YEARS OF CRAFT EDUCATION presents archival images and articles to recognize this milestone. Add your memories to the collection – click here to send us your pictures and stories!
The Settlement School’s Golden Anniversary (50 years) was celebrated in 1962.
The Smithsonian Institute recognized the School’s history and contributions to craft with a month-long exhibit in the Rotunda (main entrance), June 22 – July 21, 1962. A weaver from the Arrowcraft shop demonstrated on the loom at the exhibit, and at the Mayflower Hotel during the week of the Pi Beta Phi national convention in Washington, DC.
Dr. Kellogg, representing the Smithsonian’s Board of Governors, spoke at the exhibit’s opening on Friday, June 22. He said,
“The diversified and multi-hued textiles you see in this special exhibit are the result in art, of the 50-year community development program in the Appalachian mountains, particularly in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. BY encouraging a revival in the art of weaving among the citizens of this town, [Arrowmont] has not only filled an economic need but has materially assisted in the preservation of one of America’s oldest home-crafts.”
“This is one of those treasured occasions when one does not speak for present generations only.”
The display included 14 separately arranged groupings encircling the Rotunda. Set up at the base of the Statue of Freedom in the center of the exhibit was a loom, demonstrated on by Myrtle Conner, a 30-year veteran weaver in Gatlinburg.
On campus, the new “Loom House” or Weaving Studio was constructed in time to be in use for the Summer Craft Workshop.
“The building has been a serious need for some time, if the Craft Workshop were to expand, if the possibilities of other workshops at all times of the year were to be displayed, and to save wear and tear on the looms which have had to be dismantled and moved twice a year. Thus another dream of those who knew so well the needs and the possibilities [of Arrowmont] is being realized.”
The new studio was completed in June, with a dedication ceremony held July 5, 1962. The studio was build to accommodate 36 looms with dedicated space for instruction, display and storage. The entrance to the studio featured the Evelyn Bishop Memorial Room – a lounge with stone fireplace, built-in shelving and comfortable furniture for students to gather. The room was dedicated in memory to Evelyn Bishop, head resident of the Settlement School from 1918 – 1933, who died in 1961.
The 1962 Summer Craft Workshop reached just shy of the record enrollment achieved in 1961, with 136 students enrolled throughout the summer. Courses were offered this year in jewelry, silkscreen, pottery, weaving design, recreational crafts and enameling. Plans for a Ceramic Studio began.