Excerpt: Crafting Lives: African American Artisans in New Bern, North Carolina, 1770-1900, by Catherine W. Bishir

For most black artisans in the antebellum South, being born into slavery placed clear limits on their future. No matter how skilled they might be, seldom could enslaved artisans expect to trace the customary path from apprentice to master that white artisans pursued. For Montford, as for a remarkable number of his fellows in New Bern, however, the timing and circumstances of his birth together with his skills, industry, ambition, and relationships enabled him to realize such hopes as he moved from slavery to freedom and became a master of apprentices and slaves, a property owner, and a voting citizen. Only as Montford’s life drew to its close in the 1830s did he and his fellow artisans of color witness the onset of oppressive racial laws that chilled the hopes of New Bern’s black craftsmen for themselves and for their children.

Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery Hosts Thomas Day Exhibit

Much like Marshall and Leimenstoll’s book, Dubrow describes the Smithsonian’s exhibit as, “doubly intriguing—combining his startlingly unique cabinets, bureaus, chairs, even a child’s Gothic-Classical style ‘commode’ (potty), architectural designs, with his extraordinary career.”

Howard Risatti: Environmentalism Reviving Tradition in Art

I want to stress that what artists like M. C. Richards and other were doing by raising our sensitivity to ecological issues was indeed very important. It was an attempt to help us find the will to actually do something.

Howard Risatti: Monetary Motivations in Art and Perceptions of Craft

Evidently money and marketing, which support these biennials, are a big part of this change. They have transformed art into a high-profile activity in which the elite now collect contemporary art instead of old masters as they did at the beginning of the last century.

Southern Gateways: essential southern reading that makes a great gift

Our Holiday Sale is now underway! If you need some gift ideas for the folks on your list, our Southern Gateways catalog is a great place to start. Southern Gateways is where we collect of all our general interest books about this region we call home.

Fall sale wrap-up: new categories 50% off, sale ends soon!

Announcing our last four sale subjects, all at 50% off, with free shipping for orders over $75 for the next two weeks.

UNC Press Fall Sale: New categories

New Fall sale categories: business history and southern history. Throughout the fall, we’re offering 50% off selected titles in the disciplines listed below. Enter 01SALE12 at checkout. Spend $75.00 and the shipping is free.

North Carolina Icons: Seagrove Pottery

Four great UNC Press books will help you learn all about the rich pottery tradition of the Seagrove area of eastern North Carolina.

The UNC Press fall sale is underway! Save up to 50% on select titles

Throughout the fall, we’re offering 50% off selected titles in the disciplines listed below. Enter 01SALE12 at checkout. Spend $75.00 and the shipping is free.

New Omnibus E-Book: Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s Shop Classic Collection

This Omnibus Ebook brings together the first three books into a collection of Woodwright classics. Designed for both woodworking novices and for more seasoned woodworkers looking for enjoyable projects, these books feature step-by-step instructions, complete with easy-to-follow photographs and measured drawings.

Spring sale now includes Civil War & Literary Studies

Our 90th anniversary sale now includes selected titles in Civil War, literary studies, women’s studies, religious studies, African American history, and art/architecture/craft.

Our Spring Sale grows: books in women’s studies and art now half off!

Our 90th anniversary sale expands this month to include select books in women’s studies and art/architecture/craft now 50% off. Free shipping on orders of $75+.

Awards, Awards, and More Awards

We have lots of great news to share about many outstanding UNC Press books! Recently our authors have been showered with awards and prizes.

Southern Gateways: The best in southern reading from UNC Press

One of the strengths of UNC Press is our commitment to publishing first-rate books about the region in which we live. From college hoops to environmental history, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, from the coast to the hills, our books about the South educate and entertain readers within the region and …

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WATCH: Furniture Making slideshow

Though North Carolina has welcomed the recent arrival of a certain Scandinavian furniture mecca, the state has a rich history as the “Furniture Capital of the World.” Patricia Phillips Marshall, coauthor of Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, provides an entry in the Encyclopedia of North Carolina that gives a brief account …

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The Legacy of Thomas Day

During the mid-1800s, Thomas Day was the most successful cabinet maker working  in North Carolina.  A significant figure in the history of woodworking, equally as important for his role in American history as an astoundingly successful free man of color in the Antebellum South, Day developed a truly original aesthetic and showed unmatched skill as …

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North Carolina Pottery on PBS Tonight

The American craft tradition did not just appear, fully-formed and mature. Where have our craft practices come from? How does the tradition continue? Tonight at 8pm on PBS-TV, the Peabody award-winning series CRAFT IN AMERICA will feature several craft experts on the segment titled, “Origins.” Each of the artists featured in “Origins” ties their work …

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Tar Heel Trek: Davidson County

Continuing along the North Carolina piedmont, Davidson County is worthy of a pitstop. Founded in 1822 and named for Revolutionary War General William Lee Davidson, Davidson County is home to many unique and historical sites. North Carolina is well known for it’s barbecue, but none is quite like the kind you get in Lexington–defining its …

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Roy Underhill talks to Mother Earth News

America’s favorite traditional woodworker, Roy Underhill, recently talked to Mother Earth News about his brand new book, The Woodwright’s Guide: Working Wood with Wedge and Edge. The next time someone asks me what famous (not dead) person I’d like to have dinner with, I’m going to have to say Roy Underhill. Wait a sec . …

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BEA Report

The biggest annual trade show in the American book biz, BookExpo America was held in Los Angeles this year from May 29 to June 1. UNC Press had a double booth and featured several great books coming up on our Fall 2008 list. Pics of our booth and a peek at some forthcoming gems, after …

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