Heterogeneous Craft Communities: Reflections on Folk Pottery in Romania

Magda Buchczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Ethnological scholarship developed in Romania often conceptualizes folk pottery as a community affair, focused around a selection of folk art centres where the craft is being practiced and transmitted. In this model, the maker is viewed as a locally specific bearer of family traditions and continuator of folk styles representative of a given ethnographic area.

This paper is based on my doctoral research project, which is supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award, between Goldsmiths College and the Horniman Museum. My broader study focuses on exploring the history, heritage and craftsmanship of the museum’s 1957 collection of Romanian folk art. Here, I challenge how museological perspectives on Romanian pottery underrepresent the diverse strategies of craft practice and the multiple social contexts in which artefacts are embedded. In order to highlight the complex nature of these craft communities, I explore the irregular landscape of contemporary practitioners of pottery; both those perceived as authorized folk artists and others, represented by the museum curators as makers of kitsch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28–49
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Museum Ethnography
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Craft
  • Ethnography
  • Heritage
  • Innovation

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