Craft matters, too, because it is the art world’s best path to diversity. There is a reason that Linda Nochlin never wrote an article called “Why Have There Been No Great Women Weavers?” There have been plenty. And potters. And jewelers. And metalsmiths. Craft is also a rich tapestry of ethnic diversity, having been practiced expertly by people of all nations and regions for millennia. You can make a strong case that the long-standing marginalization of the crafts—and the self-evidently crazy idea that painting isn’t one—was just the art world’s way of practicing sexism and racism, barely disguised as a policing of disciplines rather than people.
At long last, then, we have arrived at a reckoning. Art needs craft, and badly. So I have a suggestion. The next time you run into someone who wants to put craftspeople back on the sidelines—if, indeed, you can find anyone who still thinks that way—just think of Charlie Brown, and give them the reply they deserve: “Good grief!”