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BIOGRAPHY:



Margret Craver



Margret Craver Withers was born in 1907. She graduated from University of Kansas with a degree in design in 1929. From 1930 to 1935 she worked as a grade school teacher and spent summers learning techniques and processes from various Americans in New York. She became a part-time teacher at Wichita Art Association in Kansas. She set up the first craft department there. During the summer of 1936 Craver studied with Arthur Neville Kirk at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her studies prompted her to continue her research and she went to Sweden to study with Baron Erik Fleming, silversmith to the King, in 1938. It was in 1944 that Craver left Wichita to head the Hospitals Service Program set up by Handy and Harmon (a metal refining company). After the war in 1946 the program was changed to the Craft Services Department. Craver headed this department and developed a series of non-profit workshops designed to train professional metalsmiths and teachers in America. There were five of these workshops altogether. They were taught by Baron Erik Fleming (silversmith to the King of Sweden), William E. Bennett and Reginald Hill (were affiliated with the Goldsmiths Hall in London, England). Besides organizing these workshops, Craver also wrote several technical and instructional booklets on silversmithing and jewelry making. The first craft exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art, "Form in Handwrought Silver," was shown in 1949. The work exhibited was the result of works finished by participants of the Handy and Harmon conference that year. Margaret Craver left Handy and Harmon in 1950 to pursue technical research on an enameling technique called en resille enameling. She has been honored as a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 1980 and for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts by the Women's Caucus for Art in 1989.