MFA AC+D Lecture: Ezra Shales

March 28, 2019

Ezra Shales focuses on the productive confusion that lies at the intersection of design, craft, and art in everyday life. He teaches the history of art at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has a Ph.D. from the Bard Graduate Center and an M.F.A. from Hunter College. He is the author of two books, Made in Newark (Rutgers University Press, 2010), which explores craft as an anchor of regional identity in progressive-era New Jersey, and The Shape of Craft (Reaktion, 2017), which has prompted a reviewer to identify him as a “philosopher of the factory floor.” The Shape of Craft argues that there is workmanship in manufacturing and moves away from dictionary definitions that romanticize ‘artisanal labor’ or ‘natural materials’ to shine a light on remarkable factory production and labor.

He is currently writing introductions for new editions of David Pye’s seminal books The Nature of Design (1964) and The Nature and Art of Workmanship (1968). He also works as a freelance curator and has published numerous articles and essays on contemporary art, most recently on Tom Joyce, Michael Sherill, Kim Dickey, and Shari Mendelson.


April 3, 2019
421 NE 10th Ave
Portland OR 97232