The Guild of American Papercutters is a membership-based community that promotes awareness about, preserves the heritage of, and advances the art of papercutting.
The Guild of American Papercutters (GAP) was founded in 1988 by a group of papercut art enthusiasts, meeting for the first time at the Hershey Museum of American Life in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to papercutting and paper work as an art form in all its historical and contemporary styles. The Guild was originally established for members “from all the countries of North America.” By its tenth anniversary, it had over 500 members, located in 48 states in the USA and in 16 other countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as Dick and Sukey Harris wrote in the 11th volume, first number of First Cut (Winter 1998). Our members range from beginner to highly skilled amateur and professional full-time artists and teachers; we have members, too, who don’t cut but are papercutting enthusiasts, researchers, historians, and collectors.
In 2009, twenty-one years after its founding, members established the National Museum of the Guild of American Papercutters in affiliation with Laurel Arts at the home of the Philip Dressler Center for the Arts in Somerset, Pennsylvania. This is the first American museum devoted to papercutting as an art form. The museum has a permanent collection of papercuts as well as changing exhibitions.
The Guild of American Papercutters exercises no artistic or business control over its members other than the encouragement of personal artistic growth and ethical business practices. Membership is welcomed — the Guild has no jury requirements and conducts no competitive art contests. We welcome you to join our community! And if you have questions, please feel free to contact us.