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Craft in Focus New York

mastertalks | The Art of Craftsmanship: The American Artists’ Hand Archive

Vanessa Hoheb and Thomas Donahue - Sunday June 4
The Landing, 2nd Floor
1 hour
Sunday June 4

Vanessa Hoheb and Thomas Donahue will present highlights from their careers in the arts spanning forty years leading up to the creation of The American Artists’ Hand Archive.


As witness to and participants in artmaking at its most intimate levels, Hoheb and Donahue have worked closely with many of America’s most influential visual artists. Recognizing the skill and mastery of the gifted hands that have made iconic images in American art has been the inspiration for The American Artists’ Hand Archive. This collection of bronze life castings is an ongoing endeavor and is being prepared for museum exhibition. Hoheb and Donahue will present images of the mold making of the artist’s hands in their studios and progress through the lost wax casting process to finished bronzes. Many of the finished bronzes will be on display during Craft In Focus.


Vanessa Hoheb and Thomas Donahue met at Pratt Institute in 1975 and have been collaborating professionally for over forty years. As artisans working with visual artists across a wide range of disciplines, Hoheb and Donahue have drawn upon their skills in the traditional arts of mold making, modeling, casting, and restoration, enabling artists to bring their ideas to life.

Working with Willem DeKooning, they enlarged his models to heroic scale for casting into bronze.

Hoheb and Donahue headed the team responsible for the restoration of the outer skin of the Statue of Liberty.

They joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they molded original artifacts in the Reproduction Studio and made reproductions for sale and curatorial study.

The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York invited Hoheb and Donahue to become full members and they were inducted into this prestigious Society of artisans in 2014.

They are currently working on a commission by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals to design and cast an edition of bronze awards to be given to Pfizer’s most influential scientists.


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