For over forty years Allen Eaton was an important figure in the arts and crafts movement in Appalachia. In 1919 the Oregon native met Olive Campbell who was beginning her work as founder of the John C. Campbell Folk School. At her invitation, Eaton came to western North Carolina where he devoted much of his life’s work. He was a founder and organizer of the Southern Highlands Handicraft Guild in 1930 and worked tirelessly to promote the dignity and beauty of handmade crafts in an era of increasing industrial production. His book, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands, is the classic work for anyone interested mountain crafts. Eaton, who died in 1962, has been hailed as the “Dean of American Crafts.”


Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio: