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!
1975 – Arrowcraft Shop celebrates 50 years
In 1975, the Arrowcraft Shop celebrated its 50-year anniversary. The Arrowcraft Shop was opened in 1926 to market the beautiful crafts of the Appalachian people. It was through the rich history of crafts in the region that the idea of craft classes at Arrowmont would gain popularity and begin to flourish.
Henrietta McCutchan Huff, Pi Phi, Settlement School teacher (1928 – 1931), recounts some of the history of Arrowcraft in her 1967 article, “Memoirs of Settlement School.” She wrote, “My introduction to this Craft Program was on my second day in Gatlinburg [in 1928] when Miss Evelyn Bishop asked me whether I would like to visit some of our weavers for Arrowcraft Shop. How thrilled I was to walk up Baskins Creek with Miss Onken, Grand President of Pi Beta Phi, Miss Mary Pollard, Miss Evelyn and Alice Williams (a new Pi Phi teacher, also) to see Izora Keener and her sister-in-law, Myrtle Conner. What beautiful articles they have woven through the years. Myrtle is still weaving and looks younger now than she did then.
We have read how in 1925 Winogene Redding assumed full time charge of the weaving program, and held that position for 20 years. She walked miles upon miles through the cold winter months in those early years and later rode horseback to instruct the women at their looms.”
Arrowmont & Arrowcraft supported over 100 local community members through Weaving cottage industry
In the 50 years of operation, Arrowcraft supported over 100 weavers in the local community, many of them mothers, daughters, and eventually granddaughters. By 1975, 41 weavers were awarded a special pin after completing 25 years of weaving for the shop.
Current Arrowmont staff member, Vickie Ownby, shares images of her family, who were multi-generational weavers for the Arrowcraft Shop.