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July 18, 2016

Smithsonian Symposium Marks Sam Maloof Centennial; Exhibitions Spotlight Next Generation

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With six months to go in The Maloof Foundation’s year-long centennial celebration, several new projects are slated to explore the lasting influence of modernist woodworker Sam Maloof (1916-2009) at venues from Riverside, CA to Washington, DC.

The offerings include a symposium, books, catalogs, podcasts and several exhibitions, which will introduce audiences to a broad range of artists who are carrying forward America's studio furniture movement into the 21st century.

Smithsonian Symposium: Why We Make, What We Make
“Furniture and the Future,” a day-long symposium presented jointly by the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery and the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts, will be held September 16, 2016 in Washington, DC.
The symposium will examine historical and contemporary design and production of furniture and related objects in light of the fundamental changes brought about by the digital age, considering not only how furniture is transforming to meet the needs of contemporary society, but also the broader implications of why we make, what we make, and how it affects our world. 
The symposium is made possible with support from the James Renwick Alliance, the Windgate Foundation and Woodcraft Supply.
Cultural historian and curator Michael Prokopow will deliver the keynote address, with additional presentations to be made by architect and author Witold Rybczynski and Paul Sacaridiz, director of the Haystack Mountain School.  Curator and author Glenn Adamson will moderate a panel discussion with contemporary wood artists including Wendell Castle, Wendy Maruyama, Christy Oates, Larry White and Uhuru.
Smithsonian Renwick Gallery
Visitors to the nation’s capital may also view Maloof work on display at the Renwick, showcased as part of the museum’s soon-to-open reinstallation of its permanent collection galleries. The re-imagined galleries, planned by Nora Atkinson, the Renwick’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, feature one of Sam’s most iconic pieces, the Evans arm chair.  An exquisitely sculpted work, the chair is also featured in the Renwick’s permanent collection catalog.
Architect/Author Leads Special Tours
On August 6, The Maloof Foundation in Rancho Cucamonga will host a day of tours led by architect Ann Kovara, who served as project manager during relocation of the Maloof Historic home. The project, undertaken in 2000 to save the woodworker’s National Register-listed home from the path of the 210 Freeway, will be recounted by Kovara in three 90-minute-long tours. Kovara will also autograph copies of her new book, Moving Sam, published by Schiffer. Tour tickets are available for purchase at malooffoundation.org.

Los Angeles International Airport
Beginning August 20, more than two million visitors to Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 2 will have a chance to see Furniture as Art/Art as Furniture, a pop-up exhibit organized by Southern California furniture maker Stephen Courtney in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports. The displayed works, including a Maloof musician’s chair, will highlight Maloof's role as a pioneer in America’s studio furniture movement, noting his influence on a current generation of Southern California designers and makers. 
Jurors for the LAX project included LACMA decorative arts curator Bobbye Tigerman, Huntington Library curator of American decorative arts Hal Nelson, and California State University, San Diego educator and artist Wendy Maruyama. The jurors selected more than 20 contemporary furniture artists whose works will be shown alongside the Maloof chair. The LAX display will be on view for six months, through February 15, 2017.

An accompanying catalog, with foreword by Smithsonian Fellow Oscar Fitzgerald, noted author and historian of American decorative arts, will survey additional works, with examples from more than 80 Southern California makers. 
Riverside Art Museum Exhibition
Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, CA will consider Maloof’s role in inspiring studio furniture makers in the 21st century. The exhibition, Sit By Me, will feature a selection of Maloof pieces, along with works by makers Mike Johnson, Geoffrey Keating, Laura Kishimoto, Laura Mays, Brandon Morrison, and Reed Hansuld. The exhibition runs October 28 through January 29, 2017.
LAST CHANCE: Maloof Retrospective 

The retrospective exhibition, Sam Maloof Woodworker: Life | Art | Legacy, which has attracted thousands of visitors to The Maloof since February, is entering its final weeks, closing August 27.  Sculpture in the Garden 2016, featuring works by more than 60 California artists, continues its run at the site, through October 29.
Beginning October 2, California Wood Artists: Maloof and Beyond will look to the future, spotlighting sculpture and furniture works by more than 40 contemporary artists, including Gary Knox Bennett, John Cederquist, Barbara Holmes and others. The exhibition will run through February 11, 2017. 
Online Coverage
Other Maloof Centennial offerings include the critically acclaimed book Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker by Fred Setterberg, published by Heyday Books. Since debut of the book, the author has been featured in a wide range of broadcast and print interviews, including a full-page review in the Washington Post. Audio and video podcasts from various outlets explore the author’s experiences interviewing Maloof subjects such as President Jimmy Carter and others. For links to coverage, visit malooffoundation.org. The book is on sale at the Maloof Store, Amazon and bookstores nationwide.
Visiting the Maloof

Admission to the gallery and gardens at The Maloof is free to all. Regular docent-led tours of the Maloof Historic Home are $15 for adults; the one-day-only Moving Sam Maloof Tours on August 6 are $24/person. Regular public hours for gallery and gardens are Thursdays and Saturdays 12 noon to 4 pm. For tour reservations, visit malooffoundation.org.

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Alan Van Fleet

A.E. Van Fleet is an artist and graphic designer currently living and working in San Bernardino, California

Website: www.aevanfleet.com
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