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The Furniture Society honors Tom Loeser

Tom Loeser

Tom Loeser

The Furniture Society presented furniture maker Tom Loeser with its coveted 2019 Award of Distinction at its annual conference, “FS19: Groundwork”, June 19-22 in Milwaukee.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement and long-standing commitment to the advancement of the art of furniture building.

Jurors Rosanne Somerson, Mia Hall, Laura May and Wendy Maruyama concluded in their assessment that they were searching for “those individuals that changed the course of how the field evolved, and their nurturing of younger and less experienced makers, bringing them into the field through various routes.”

In a statement, the jurors said they selected Loeser due to his “significant contributions across the areas that make up the field of furniture design; skill and inventiveness as a maker; leadership in the field outside of making; educator, and leadership through contributions to the discourse of craft and furniture design.”

Loeser, from Madison, Wisc., chaired the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Art from 2009-2014 and has been head of the university’s wood/furniture area since 1991.

Loeser designs and builds one-of-a-kind functional and dysfunctional objects that are often carved and painted and always draw inspiration from the history of design and object making. In addition to producing studio furniture, he has also worked on a number of public commissions and site-specific installations including for the Madison Children’s Museum and the city’s new public library.

Loeser’s “Scythe by Scythe” bench.

Loeser’s “Scythe by Scythe” bench.

Loeser’s work has been featured in many national and international exhibitions. It can be found in museum collections, including the Renwick Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, Racine Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.

His solo exhibition, “Please, Please, Please”, is currently traveling to three venues in California and Texas. He was elected to the American Craft Council College of Fellows in 2012.

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This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue.

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