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Margret Craver Withers

1907 - 2010

Margret Craver Withers lived a long and fruitful life. She is remembered not only for her output of exceptional jewelry and hollowware, but also for her tireless dedication to teaching.

During World War II, she set up a Hospital Service Program through which injured veterans could learn wire-working techniques as part of their occupational therapy.  After the War, in order to renew the knowledge of the techniques of silversmithing among American teaches with backgrounds in art and design, she sought out some of the best silversmiths in Europe to teach conferences at places such as the Rhode Island School of Design. Many of the participants of these conferences went on to become well-recognized metalsmiths and teachers who would, in turn, pass on the love of metalsmithing to their students.

In 1950, Margret married Charles Withers, president of Towle Silversmiths, and became a consultant for his company. She was influential in the creation of new, modern designs for Towle, bringing in artists such as Earl Pardon who worked for the company in the mid 1950s.

I interviewed Margret when she was ninety-seven and found her to be a lovely lady with great wit and vitality.  It was an honor to spend a day with her. She will be deeply missed!

Marbeth Schon
Photograph courtesy of the Margret Craver Withers papers, 1926-1992 in the Archives of American Art,  Smithsonian Institution.

Modern Silver magazine 2011