Aileen Osborn Webb

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Aileen Webb (Osborn)

Birthplace: Garrison, Putnam, New York, United States
Death: Died in Shelburne, Chittenden, Vermont, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Church Osborn and Alice Clinton Hoadley Osborn
Wife of Vanderbilt Webb
Mother of Derick Vanderbilt Webb
Sister of Maj. Gen. Fred H. Osborn; William Henry Osborn, Lieut. and Earl Dodge Osborn

Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Aileen Osborn Webb

Founder of the American Craft Council in 1942

Aileen Osborn Webb (1892–1979) was an American patron of crafts. She was a founder of the organisation now known as the American Craft Council, which gives an annual award named for her.


Born into an American family of philanthropists who were known as victorious manufactures, financiers and scientists, Aileen Osborn Webb was the best craft supporter of the 20th century. She was raised in a Garrison, New York and Manhattan where she was surrounded by people who supported giving back to the communities that helped make them so successful.

In the 1920s, Aileen was Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party. She also participated with the Junior League, which was co-founded by her sister-in-law Frederica Vanderbilt Webb, along with Mary Harriman and Dorothy Whitney in 1907.

During the Great Depression, she encouraged the poor to sell handmade goods to improve their financial situations. She founded America House in New York in 1940. In 1941, she helped start Craft Horizons magazine. In 1943, she founded the American Craft Council. In 1944, she founded the School for American Crafts (SAC), now known as RIT in Rochester, New York. In 1956, she founded the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, now known as the Museum of Arts and Design, the first museum to exhibit craft art by living artists. In 1964, she created the World Crafts Council to support indigenous craftspeople around the world.

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Aileen Osborn Webb's Timeline

June 25, 1892
Garrison, Putnam, New York, United States
June 18, 1913
Age 20
London, Greater London, UK
August 15, 1979
Age 87
Shelburne, Chittenden, Vermont, United States