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William Waldo Dodge Jr.

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William Waldo Dodge Jr.

American, (1895–1971)

William Waldo Dodge Jr. (Washington, DC 1895–1971 Asheville, NC) was a craftsman and architect. Influences from the Arts & Crafts movement can be seen in how he highlighted the natural beauty of the medium, in his case primarily metal, in useful household goods and embraced handcraftsmanship. Gothic Revival and Arts & Crafts styles can be seen in William’s architectural designs.

After studying architecture at MIT, William served in the U.S. Army during World War I. He suffered injuries that required treatment at a military hospital near Asheville, NC, where he met Margaret Wheeler Robinson (Meriden, CT 1891–1987 Asheville, NC). She taught metalsmithing, among other crafts employed as occupational therapy activities, to the patients.

Margaret and William married in 1921 and moved to Connecticut for treatment of William’s ongoing health problems at Gaylord Farm Sanitorium, where Margaret taught silversmithing. In 1922, with William as a patient and designer, they launched Gaylord Silvercraft. When the couple returned to Asheville in 1924, Margaret focused on their children while William continued silversmithing and opened Asheville Silvercraft.

In order to meet the high production demand and so that he could do more architectural work, William opened the Dodge Silver shop in 1927 and brought on three apprentices (Johnny Green, Dick Shuford, and Ray Yeomans) to execute his designs. Dodge Silver closed in 1942, and William focused on architecture.

[Source: Museum Staff]

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