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Furniture Society set to honor scholar and artist

The Furniture Society will present its annual awards of distinction to Edward (Ned) S. Cooke Jr. and Thomas Hucker during its 20th anniversary conference, which runs June 23-25 in Philadelphia.

Edward (Ned) S. Cooke Jr.

The award recognizes outstanding achievements and longstanding commitment by an individual or institution to the advancement of the art of furniture making.

Cooke is the Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. He teaches lecture courses on American decorative arts and domestic architecture from the 17th century to the present as well as an introductory course on global decorative arts and offers seminars on a variety of topics including material culture theory, vernacular architecture, the American interior, American furniture, craft and design in post-World War II America, and the globalization of modern craft.

Hucker, a graduate of Boston University’s Program in Artistry under Jeré Osgood, is a studio furniture maker in Hoboken, N.J.

Thomas Hucker

Jurors Bebe Pritam Johnson, Wendy Maruyama, Brian Gladwell and Peter Korn selected the award winners.

“With Ned, I think the consensus is that his scholarship, his publication record and the museum exhibitions he has curated simply have expanded public knowledge and awareness and deepened understanding of the field of contemporary furniture making like no other person. That was a pretty easy choice,” Johnson says.

“As far as Tom Hucker, the discussion went that he has produced some of the most provocative, conceptually adventuresome work to come out of the studio furniture movement and he has obviously considerable skills, a masterful understanding of form and material and a restless mind that constantly is seeking new challenges. Again, there wasn’t too much controversy there.”

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This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue.

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