Biographical / Historical
Crafts expert Rose Slivka (1919-2004) was an editor, educator, and critic in New York City and East Hampton, NY. Slivka edited Craft Horizons magazine from 1957-1979, and then founded Crafts International, which published its first issue in 1980.
Rose Slivka was very active in the American Crafts Council and World Crafts Council, and promoted crafts by participating in conferences around the world, acting as a juror of competitions, writing, and teaching. The author of books and articles about crafts, including the entry on "Handicrafts" in the 1961 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, Slivka was tireless in her search for information pertaining to crafts of all nations. Her study of the subject was integrated into a strong, far-reaching campaign to include sculpture as a craft and promote crafts on a par with fine art. She was also interested in poetry and taught courses in art criticism at New York University and the New School for Social Research.
Many of Slivka's articles on craft, painting and sculpture have been published in periodicals such as Art in America, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times. Books and exhibition catalogs include The Crafts of the Modern World (1964); The Object as Poet (1976), Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC; Peter Voulkos: A Dialogue in Clay (1978); California Clay (1979), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and The Book as Art and Artist (1979), Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY. Slivka's writings have been translated into at least 7 languages.
Slivka was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Critics Fellowship in 1976 and between 1980 and 1982 conducted a research project on "Criticism and Scholarship in Modern Craft" also sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. She was awarded The Rhode Island School of Design President's Fellows Award in 1982, and its highest honor, the Athena Medal. In addition, she served on the boards of directors for several New York City organizations including Clayworks Studio Workshop, New York Experimental Glassworks, and Center for Book Arts.
Following her career as a magazine editor, international speaker on crafts, writer, and educator, Slivka moved to East Hampton, Long Island, where she continued to write poetry and was art critic for The East Hampton Star newspaper.
Rose Slivka's was married to sculptor David Slivka; the couple had 2 children and eventually divorced. She died of heart failure in Southampton, NY, on September 2, 2004.