Craft Shaft

No, the above title does not refer to any pornographic img I may have encountered at the Pace/MacGill gallery yesterday. That’s because I didn’t go. But before you roll your eyes and say, “Oh, she probably wound up staying inside all day again, watching Bewitched,” let me explain.

I didn’t go because I had to get to Macy’s. But more on that later.

Although I didn’t go to Pace/MacGill, I did go to the American Craft Museum, and therein lies the “shaft” referred to above. I don’t particularly care for that word (in fact, it should probably have made my recent list), but it rhymes with “craft” and I was indeed “shafted” (please don’t make me use any form of this word again!), so there you have it. Or don’t, as the case may be (and was) at the museum.

The “it” that wasn’t had was the stickpin exhibit and one-third of the “Objects for Use” exhibit. After paying my $7.50 and getting excited because there was, indeed, a rather appealing gift shop, I went down the stairs to see the first part of the Objects display. The writing on the wall (or whatever it’s technically called) (does anyone know?), which I actually read (usually I pretend to read, even moving my eyes back and forth as if really doing so), promised three parts of the exhibit: Food and Dining; Interior Space; and Sport, Music and Play. Only the first two were available in the museum “proper”. The third was on display at the Deutsche (sp.?) Bank, which I think is adjacent to the museum.

However, according to the gift shop guy, “because of September 11”, and the increased security at the bank, the part of the exhibit that had been housed at the bank was closed. It seems that the huge inconvenience of having to actually bring picture ID was enough of a deterrent for would-be attendees. I say that if you’re stupid enough to walk around without picture identification any time, either before or after September 11, then you shouldn’t be permitted to gain access to anything more stimulating than a Starbucks or McDonald’s. But hey, what do I know.

I do know that the stickpin exhibit was not closed “because of September 11”. (Please don’t think I don’t respect the sanctity of that date, but I’m really getting sick of everything being blamed on September 11. But that’s another subject for another day.) It seems that the museum needed a new air-conditioning system, so rather than provide its patrons with the promised exhibit through its original run date, the museum decided to move its office staff into the bottom floor of the actual museum, thus displacing the exhibit. Thus pissing me off.

So as it turned out, I got to see two not-too-large floors of handmade household objects. Cool stuff, indeed, including corkscrews, flatware, bottlestoppers, teapots, candlesticks, stemware, and knives (all far more gorgeous than anything at Ikea, Crate & Barrel, and, yes, kids, Pottery Barn) and one fantastic rug called “Fusion” (wool, cotton, metal, and latex) (oooh, latex!) by an Olympia, Washington, artist named Gloria E. Crouse, and a(n?) hilarious forged mild (as opposed to spicy?) steel nutcracker by Thomas Latane of Pepin, Wisconsin.

It would have been nice if, upon approaching the desk to pay the admission fee, someone had informed everyone that one exhibit was now non-existent and the other was only two-thirds intact. I suppose I still would have paid $7.50 to see the stuff that was there, because it was somehow uplifting to see uncommonly beautiful versions of the common objects of our everyday lives.

But then again, there was a lot of ugly shit too that smacked of some bored housewife somewhere sitting at a pottery wheel, envisioning herself sitting between the masculine knees of a transparent Patrick Swayze.

P.S. Stay tuned for info regarding my first ever shopping experience at Macy’s Herald Square!