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July 2 through September 19, 2016


America has always been a nation of makers.

The things we make tell the story of who we are. American Made: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum features 115+ objects—including quilts, carvings, signs, samplers, weathervanes, whirligigs and more—hand made by Americans when our nation was young.

On the heels of the American Revolution, everyday citizens filled their homes with objects and artworks—made by their own hands—that revealed the hope and enthusiasm they felt for our new nation. These self-made artists created practical objects that reflected their daily lives. They embellished furniture and household items with images of the countryside, made decorative objects reflecting American patriotism and politics, and stitched quilts and samplers that demonstrated their skill and creativity. Traveling painters moved from town to town making portraits of local community leaders. Together, these artisans crafted a visual story of America’s development.

Additional treasures complement the exhibition:

  • In-Gallery Activity Space – invites visitors to create their own magnetic quilt squares, contribute to a community loom, and design stencil boxes to take home.
  • Local Artist Demonstration Space – weavers, quilters, metalsmiths, woodworkers, broom makers, and many more will demonstrate their crafts throughout the exhibition.
  • Take-Home Reading List – suggests works of early American literature published during the era of the exhibition. Rare editions of many of these books are on display in the museum library including Moby Dick, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Created especially for Crystal Bridges from the American Folk Art Museum in New York, American Made shares the story these artworks tell about America: our history, our culture, our identity.

Only at Crystal Bridges.



Take part in great artistic traditions through these mini-workshops inspired by the American Made exhibition. Each evening workshop is led by a local practicing artist and features a new studio medium, such as embroidery, sgraffito, and papercutting. Teaching artists include Sofia Gonzales, Ben Edwards, Laura Redford, Martha Benson, Eugene Sargent, and Emily Chase. Sign up for just one workshop, or for all six! Visit our website for the theme of each class.

American Made Exhibition Audio Tour

Features 20 objects, centering on the stories behind the works.

Download the app for free to your own Android or Apple Device and let our audio tour guide you through the galleries. Several tours are available, including four tour options for the permanent galleries, an architecture tour, and tours of current temporary exhibitions. Each of the stops on the tours includes a high-resolution image, full label copy, and audio or video clips featuring curators, preparators, or conservators. The Crystal Bridges app is sponsored by Cox Communication.


Don’t have a compatible device of your own? Check one out from Guest Services while you’re at the Museum for free!


American Made Blog

September 8, 2016

Stories from American Made: Portraits by Ammi Phillips

One of the most interesting, and challenging, parts of my job as an Interpretation Manager […]
August 17, 2016

Stories from American Made: Map Quilt—Stitching our Way from Sea to Shining Sea

Map Quilt Artist unidentified Possibly Virginia 1886 Silk and cotton with silk embroidery Collection American […]
August 16, 2016

Housekeeping and Decorum in the Crystal Bridges Library

This post was written by Jon M. Sexton, Reference Assistant for the Crystal Bridges Library […]

Selection of artworks and exhibition concept for American Made provided by Stacy Hollander, Deputy Director, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions, The American Folk Art Museum, NY. Interpretation, exhibition design, and educational programs developed by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Artist unidentified, Map Quilt, 1886, Silk and cotton with silk embroidery, 78 3/4 × 82 1/4 in., Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York.