University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Ruth Crane


Ruth Crane:
A collector's Journey


January 26–May 19, 2019



Goldstein Museum of Design, Gallery 241, McNeal Hall, St. Paul campus


Curator: Lin Nelson-Mayson


What do you collect? When did you realize that you were collecting and not just consuming? For thousands of years, people have collected objects to find order or beauty in the chaos around them. Collecting is a universal human practice that takes place in most cultures and our collected items become some of our most valued possessions. Many museums were developed based on collections that their original owners considered important for artistic or scientific reasons. Collecting can begin deliberately or with unconscious acts of accumulation that becomes a conscious decision to continue. Each collector’s journey is their own, but can follow a roughly similar path.

SEE THE PATH: You begin to accumulate – recognizing that there is a similarity to your items. You may find a mentor who can help you focus your enthusiasm (and confusion). You begin to research.

OBJECTS + STORIES = COLLECTION: You begin to acquire and learn the history of your objects. Your research may include meeting the makers, if possible, and learning more about how the objects are made. The stories become an important part of the collection and enhance the objects.

EXPAND, REFINE, AND SHARE: You start to refine your collection, seeking better quality items or objects from different times in a maker’s life. You also take a significant interest in the future of your items as a collection. You may become a mentor to aspiring collectors.

Where are you in your collector’s journey? Follow Ruth Crane’s journey from consumer of handmade items to a true collector of ceramicists’ art.









Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

[directions and maps]