& Aileen Osborn Webb
Award of Philanthropy Recipients
Helen W. Drutt English
Honorary Fellow 1998
Few individuals such as Helen W. Drutt English have as large a presence in the community of American Craft, and perhaps none more so in Philadelphia. Her eponymous gallery, Helen Drutt, was among the first in the country dedicated to contemporary craft and became a multi-faceted salon, gathering-place, and laboratory for the community since its founding in 1973. Drutt will be remembered as the writer of arguably the first syllabus on the history of modern crafts for the Philadelphia College of Art. She is equally formidable as a collector, particularly of studio jewelry and ceramics — a collection of more than 800 drawings, jewelry, sketch books, sculpture were acquired and given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2003. As a believer for craft, Drutt was in the vanguard of those advocating for the field’s acceptance among the broader community of contemporary art, and often serving on numerous boards and advisory councils. Drutt continues to work towards the expanded promotion and understanding of American studio craft. Most recently she conceived and organized an exhibition with Matthew Drutt entitled Gifts From America: 1948–2013 which has entered the permanent collection of The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, and is currently on view until January 2, 2016, in the museum. Drutt is also the recipient of the 2008 ACC Award of Distinction.
Marion Boulton Stroud (Swingle)
Honorary Fellow 1988
Marion Boulton Stroud was the founder and artistic director of the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. A printmaker and educator, Stroud began what was then the Fabric Workshop in 1977 to be a collaborative and experimental facility fostering contemporary artists’ work with fiber and fabric printing alongside a space for training and education in the arts. The organization expanded its moniker in 1996 to reflect the emphasis on the exhibition and interpretation of contemporary art as well as acknowledge its commitment to a growing permanent collection. Just as the roster of artists from the outset reflected a multiplicity of working approaches and media, the Fabric Workshop and Museum has expanded its initiatives to assist resident artists to realize work in new media and expanded range of materials.
Honorary Fellow 2009
Lancaster- and Philadelphia-based attorney Robert Pfannebecker began his now-five–decade-long commitment to the collection of contemporary craft with a visit to the graduate degree exhibition at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1964. Since then he has maintained relationships with the educators and graduates of many of the seminal programs in craft media across the country, continuing to collect work by artists that begins not infrequently with their degree exhibitions. The important role Pfannebecker’s patronage of craft artists over the past half-century helped to foster and establish the careers of craft artists around the country.
Honorary Fellow 2003
Albert LeCoff is the co-founder and executive director of The Center for Art in Wood, founded in Philadelphia in 1986 as the Wood Turning Center. An early wood turner himself, LeCoff continues to work tirelessly to promote the work of turned wood in particular and work in wood more generally in the field of contemporary craft. The Center itself grew from a series of programming in the preceding years, and now stands as one of the invaluable resources for artists, scholars, and the public for the preservation and interpretation of art made in wood. LeCoff has been recognized as among the most influential individuals in the field of turned wood, and credited for his tenacity and passion for bringing the medium to the attention of scholars and collectors through numerous exhibitions, presentations, publications and symposia.
Nancy M. McNeil
Alieen Osborn Webb Award
for Philanthropy 2012
Nancy M. McNeil has been a steadfast supporter for craft in Philadelphia for more than four decades. McNeil was the organizing force behind the establishment of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in 1977 that has gone on to become one of the most prestigious craft shows in the country. Proceeds from the show have raised millions in support of the museum. A member of the PMA American Art Committee, McNeil has made significant donations of work in craft to the museum’s permanent collections over the years. In 2006, her late husband Robert McNeil Jr. endowed a permanent curatorial position at the PMA in her name; the position was the first at a major encyclopedic museum dedicated to modern and contemporary craft and served as a signal to other institutions to follow.
— Perry Allen Price
Director of Education
American Craft Council