The Smithsonian Women’s Committee (SWC) has chosen six inaugural “Smithsonian Women’s Committee Champions.” This is a new honor for those who, over the years, have made outstanding and generous contributions of time and talent to the SWC. The honorees are Carolyn Benesh, Paul Fisher, Lloyd Herman, Jane Milosch, Michael Monroe, and Toots Zynsky.
Carolyn L.E. Benesh was co-founder, co-editor and co-publisher (along with her husband Robert K. Liu) of Ornament Magazine from its launch in 1974 until her untimely death in 2020. Ornament Magazine, the leading magazine covering wearable art, sponsors the Smithsonian Craft Show’s annual Award for Excellence in Jewelry and Craft2Wear’s annual Best in Show Award, for which Carolyn chose the winners every year. She was a strong advocate for both craft and the artists who create it and an engaging and erudite speaker. READ MORE
Paul Fisher is the founder and CEO of Juried Art Services, LLC, which he originally perfected in collaboration with the SWC to automate the application and jurying process for museums and arts organizations. In his additional role as an art dealer and owner of the Paul Fisher Gallery in West Palm Beach, Florida, Paul was instrumental in arranging for an installation of Dale Chihuly’s Macchia series at the 2016 Craft Show. READ MORE
Lloyd Herman is the Founding Director of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. To the SWC, he is the beloved “Father of the Smithsonian Craft Show” who first suggested staging a show featuring fine American craft in 1981. Lloyd has served multiple times as a Craft Show juror, Awards judge, and Honorary Chair. We honor his loyal advice and unstinting support over 40 years. READ MORE
Jane Milosch, an internationally recognized curator and expert in 20th-century and contemporary art, craft, and design, is an invaluable asset to the SWC. Jane’s contributions have enriched many aspects of both the Smithsonian Craft Show and Craft2Wear as a juror, Awards judge, consultant on creating the Smithsonian Visionary Award, and an all-around trusted adviser. Jane is well known as an enthusiastic model of wearable art! READ MORE
Michael Monroe is an influential figure in contemporary American craft, including serving as Curator-in-Charge at the Renwick Gallery. He has guided the SWC through many challenging issues and continues to advise on keeping the Craft Show fresh and current. Michael has served as a Craft Show juror, Awards judge, and program presenter. Recently, he was instrumental in the creation of the Smithsonian Visionary Award, the SWC Delphi Award, and the SWC Visionary Benefit Auction. READ MORE
Toots Zynsky, an internationally renowned glass artist, was the recipient of the 2015 Smithsonian Visionary Award. Over the years, she generously has donated specially created pieces of her work to the SWC Visionary Benefit Auction. We are grateful for her insightful advice on the state of craft art that guides planning for the Smithsonian Craft Show. She has served as both a Craft Show juror and Awards judge. READ MORE