The Haverford Guild of Craftsmen was chartered in August 2009 as the 16th local chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, headquartered in Lancaster, PA was founded in 1944 and is among the oldest professional craft guilds in the country.
Twelve talented artists, primarily from Haverford Township, comprised our charter membership. Now, more than 10 years later, our membership has climbed to over 100 fine crafts people spanning many disciplines including basketry, jewelry, ceramics, clothing, handbags, fiber, painting, art dolls, glass, woodworking,and photography.
Haverford Township is located in the heart of the Philadelphia Main Line approximately 10 miles west of center city Philadelphia, PA.
Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen
In 1939 a group of educators and the head of the Pennsylvania State Planning Board came together to formulate a way to promote wider awareness of the contributions that the crafts can bring to the community and to the lives of individuals through the stimulation of achievement, and through the enrichment of cultural, aesthetic and educational interests.
5 years later in 1944, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen (PGC) was officially founded, one of the first to follow a recommendation of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to find ways to transfer wartime skills to peacetime work. As can best be determined, the journey to formalize the organization began in February of that year when Burl N. Osburn from Millersville State Teachers College (now University) composed a response letter to Mr. Roy Helton of the PA State Planning Board, Harrisburg. Mr. Helton had apparently requested that Burl read his proposal for a State Craft Guild and make any organizational suggestions. On June 2nd, 1944, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, was recognized as an organization.
From April 15th to May 5th in 1946, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s first exhibition was held at the Art Alliance in Philadelphia. Since then, in addition to Art and Fine Craft Fairs and monthly meetings, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen has hosted or sponsored social activities, one-man shows and juried exhibits, demonstrations, forums, studio visits and field trips.
In 1961 The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen was formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization to promote and encourage the craftsmen of Pennsylvania through educational projects.
In its early years, the PGC’s headquarters were located in various areas in Pennsylvania from Harrisburg to Bedford County. In 2008, finally after 27 years in Tyler State Park, Bucks County the PGC ultimately moved to its new home in Lancaster, occupying a corner rental at 225 N. Prince Street. In 2012, the property at 335 N. Queen Street came onto the market and the PGC jumped at the opportunity to call Lancaster home, purchasing that building in May 2012.
The PGC has approximately 1300 members in 30 states living out its mission by supporting individual members, hosting four fine craft fairs annually, and offering nearly 400 workshops annually where people of all demographics are able to say “I made this.” The PGC building houses the Guild Store and gallery which afford members an opportunity to sell their craft to a community of appreciative collectors.