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Paul J. Smith (left) next to “Madonna of the Golden Rags” by Claude Horan (l.) and “Floor Vase” by Rudy Autio (r.) from the exhibition “Contemporary Craftsmen of the Far West” on display at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts from September 22 – November 5, 1961. Courtesy American Craft Council Library & Archives. Lenore Tawney (right), 1957. Photo by Aaron Siskind, Courtesy of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation.

CERF+ is pleased to announce that the Directors of The Lenore G. Tawney Foundation have established the Lenore G. Tawney Fund at CERF+ Honoring Paul J. Smith. The Foundation has committed $100,000 to the fund, which will provide financial assistance to artists facing career-threatening emergencies. The Fund honors both Lenore Tawney, the pioneering artist who established the Foundation, and Paul J. Smith, Director Emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Design and longtime Foundation board president, who shared Tawney’s commitment to supporting artists’ careers.

“CERF+ is honored and delighted to carry on Lenore Tawney and Paul Smith’s legacies of supporting artists’ careers with the creation of this fund,” notes CERF+ executive director, Cornelia Carey. While this partnership with the Foundation was finalized in March, the two organizations decided to delay announcing it because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, Smith passed away suddenly in April before the Fund could be publicly announced.

According to Kathleen Nugent Mangan, executive director of the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation: “It was Paul Smith’s wish and dream to establish this fund at CERF+. Paul believed that it would be the ideal means to realize Tawney’s goal of supporting artists through the Foundation,” she adds.

On behalf of the Foundation’s Board, Mangan comments, “It is gratifying to know that the Lenore G. Tawney Fund at CERF+ Honoring Paul J. Smith will provide critical support to artists facing crises while also honoring two important pioneers of the studio craft movement.”

The Lenore G. Tawney Foundation

The Lenore G. Tawney Foundation was established in 1989 by pioneer fiber artist Lenore Tawney (1907-2007) for charitable and educational purposes. Tawney endowed the Foundation with her life’s resources, artistic and financial. Consistent with her philanthropic interests, the Foundation supports the visual arts with a focus on craft media. It makes its art collection and archive available as resources for exhibition and scholarly study; awards scholarships and fellowships for professional art education; and supports other special projects as Tawney envisioned.

Paul J. Smith

Paul J. Smith (1931-2020) was a visionary curator and the Director Emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Design. As Director of the Museum from 1963 to 1987, he was responsible for organizing and presenting over two hundred exhibitions including the seminal Woven Forms (1963) which featured Tawney’s groundbreaking woven works. Smith joined the board of the Foundation at Tawney’s request in 1996 and became its president following her death in 2007. His commitment to the studio craft movement—and to Tawney’s legacy—was unwavering.

Make a Gift to the Lenore G. Tawney Fund at CERF+ Honoring Paul J. Smith Today

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