A Brief History
The Guild first met and organized on February 23, 1988, at the Hershey Museum of American Life in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Guild was established for members in the United States, but has grown to include members from Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It exchanges newsletters with the German, Dutch, and Swiss papercutting guilds.
GAP members range from amateur to professional papercutters, and from beginners to instructors. Some members do not cut at all, but collect papercutting art or research the many traditions of papercutting art. There are no jury requirements for members. Everyone is encouraged to start with the talents they have, simple or advanced, and grow in their technical and artistic skills as part of a papercutting community.
The Guild of American Papercutters has a growing membership, and welcomes you to join us as we further papercutting as a recognized artform. Members receive the newsletter, FirstCut, and are invited to attend the quarterly GAP meetings to meet other members, see new techniques, and learn how they can be a part of promoting papercutting art to future generations.
In 2009, the Guild established a National Museum in affiliation with Laurel Arts at the home of the Phillip Dressler Center for the Arts, Somerset, Pennsylvania. This is the first American museum devoted to the art form of papercutting. The museum has a permanent collection of papercut work as well as changing exhibitions twice a year. Future plans include a library of books on papercutting, classes and workshops.