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On Function: Skeuomorphs and Other Traces

Panel Discussion Moderated by Dr Sarah Archer, Zoom Conference

By United States

In this panel discussion, which took place in the Chipstone Foundation Fox Point museum on May 26, 2016 during Zoom Milwaukee, artist Beth Lipman and English scholar Dr. Jamie Jones examine the notion of the skeuomorph—an object that bears a resemblance to an obsolete or bygone form of technology, in which traces of this technology often become ornament or cues for users to navigate new material environments. The panel begins with a presentation by Jones on her research about Rockwell Kent’s 1930 illustrations for Moby Dick. Lipman then presents on skeuomorphs in contemporary art, including in her own piece Crib and Cradle (2014). Finally, Chipstone’s Curator and Director of Research Dr. Sarah Carter moderates a rich discussion between the audience, Lipman, and Jones.

Zoom Milwaukee logo
Zoom Milwaukee logo

Zoom Milwaukee (May 25–29, 2016) was a four-day symposium on craft and innovation hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Jewelry and Metalsmithing program. Over 250 makers, writers, and innovators came together to discuss the future of craft in 10 lectures and 27 workshops. The Chipstone Foundation and Art Jewelry Forum were proud sponsors of the Zoom symposium. This recording of the panel is brought to AJF’s audience courtesy of the generosity of the Chipstone Foundation.

Dr. Jamie Jones is a visiting assistant professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jones received her PhD in American Studies from Harvard University, and focuses her research on environmental studies and material culture.

Beth Lipman is an award-winning artist based in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. Lipman has exhibited her work internationally, including the Ringling Museum of Art (Florida), RISD Museum (Rhode Island), Milwaukee Art Museum (Wisconsin), Gustavsbergs Konsthall (Sweden), and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC).


  • Chipstone Foundation

    The Chipstone Foundation was created by Stanley and Polly Stone with the purpose of housing their impressive decorative arts collection (which centered around early American furniture and historical prints, as well as seventeenth and eighteenth century British pottery), promoting decorative arts scholarship, and supporting significant projects and publications at other institutions. A partnership between the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Chipstone Foundation was created in 1999 to provide the public with access to this important collection. Through this joint venture, Chipstone’s significant holdings are now on view to the public at the Art Museum, along with the associated Layton Art Collection. Chipstone is committed to expanding scholarship of the decorative arts, while staying current with the contemporary interpretations and issues associated with these objects.

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