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‘Art of the stool’ explored at Wharton Esherick Museum


The Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern, Pa., is hosting its 25th annual Woodworking Competition and Exhibition, “The Art of the Stool”, recognizing the beauty and potential of everyday objects. The exhibition, which opened in September and will be on display through Dec. 30, celebrates the next generation of artistry, craftsmanship and innovation in woodworking.

Featured works include pieces by 18 woodworkers from across the country who were inspired by Esherick’s unique and inventive three-legged stool designs. In the 1950s, Esherick began turning wood scraps from larger projects into the seats of stools. No two were the same and each was a uniquely considered work of art, according to the museum.


The competition was juried by Miri Nakashima, creative director for Nakashima Woodworkers; Albert LeCoff, executive director emeritus and co-founder of The Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, and Laura Heemer, curator for the Wharton Esherick Museum.

Julia Michalski of Newtown, Pa., received the show’s first place and member’s choice awards.

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Shining examples

A juried exhibition, featuring work by scholarship and fellowship recipients at Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, is on display at the school’s Messler Gallery through January 2019.

The 21 pieces in the exhibit illustrate the value of scholarships and fellowships in developing creative growth and technical accomplishment, according to the school.

“I came to understand the meaning of creativity and craft while learning to make beautiful furniture,” says Monica Raymond, an exhibitor who received a fellowship after completing the center’s nine-month comprehensive in 2012.

Jurors were the center’s lead instructors, including Beth Ireland, Aled Lewis, Aaron Fedarko, Brian Reid and Tim Rousseau.

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This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue.

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