Between Rival Utopias: Craft and the Remains of Modernism at Countercultural Intentional Communities


ACLS Project Development Grants


Art History


This project examines several American intentional communities founded in the 1960s. Tied to both alternative religion and the counterculture, these communities conceived of craft as central to their spiritual, aesthetic, and therapeutic aspirations. Like their contemporaries in the art world, they embraced repetition and rejected the heroic model of individual expression. Such parallels have remained invisible, however, because practices construed as spiritual and therapeutic have been written out of canonical histories of modernism. Following the example of the early twentieth-century avant-gardes, these communities broke down the separation between art and life, transforming life practice through aesthetic experimentation. The grant will support archival research and writing in spring 2021.