Edward Cooke, Jr.
Charles F Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts & Director for the Center Study American Art & Material Culture
Edward S. Cooke, Jr., who focuses upon American material culture and decorative arts, has published extensively on both historical and contemporary furniture. His Making Furniture in Pre-industrial America: The Social Economy of Newtown and Woodbury, Connecticut explores the artisanal world of colonial and early national America, while some of his work on modern craft has historicized and explicated more recent forms of production. This can be seen in his work as co-curator and publication author of five different exhibitions: New American Furniture (Museum of Fine Arts, 1989); Inspiring Reform: Boston's Arts and Crafts Movement (Davis Museum, Wellesley College, 1997); Wood Turning in North America Since 1930 (Wood Turning Center and Yale University Art Gallery, 2001); The Maker's Hand: American Studio Furniture, 1940-1990 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2003); and Inspired by China: Contemporary Furnituremakers Explore Chinese Traditions (Peabody Essex Museum, 2006).
At Yale, Cooke teaches lecture courses on American decorative arts and domestic architecture from the seventeenth century to the present and offers seminars on a variety of topics including material culture theory, the material history of the New Haven area, American furniture, American silver, craft and design in post-World War II America, and the globalization of modern craft. He has served as Director of the Yale Center for the Study of American Art and Material Culture since 1992 and was the Chair of the department from 2000 to 2006.
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