The House that Sam Built: Sam Maloof Exhibit

An exhibit titled The House that Sam Built: Sam Maloof and Art in the Pomona Valley, 1945-1985, opens today September 24th and runs through January 30, 2012 at The Huntington. The exhibit features the furniture of mid-century craftsman Sam Maloof (1916-2009) as well as works completed by 35 of his friends and colleagues, including one of my favorite painters Karl Benjamin (b. 1925). Click here to see the exhibit catalog and here and here for more images from the exhibit.

 Sam Maloof in his workshop with horn-back chairs, c. 1960. Photo © Maloof Foundation

Maloof continued to craft furniture into his 90's!

The above photos are from the book Maloof at 90 by Gene Sasse, which can be seen here.

Double-Flared Back Chair with Sculptured Arms, 1958. via Pacific Standard Time, Getty

Maloof coffee table (1958) with ceramics by Gertrud and Otto Natzler. via Pacific Standard Time, Getty

Flared-Back Chair, 1958. via Sotheby's

Buffett, 1958. via Sotheby's 

Low-Back Side Chair, 1995. via Smithsonian American Art Museum

Horn-Back Chair with Spindle and Low Curving Arms, 1960. via Pacific Standard Time, Getty

The following are a few of my favorite Sam Maloof quotes. To read more of his insights on design click here.
  • As long as there are men who have not forgotten how to work with their hands, there will remain for the heritage of the craftsman a bright light of hope that began at the dawn of civilization.
  • If any arts have lasting beauty, they must certainly exist in utilitarian objects created by people aware of the materials, forms, colors and surfaces that please the eye and the body- and consequently live on through the years, growing more mellow and beautiful as time passes.
  • There's a lot of work being done today that doesn't have any soul in it. The technique may be of the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn't have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it.
  • We marvel and exclaim about the machine and yet nothing has been designed or made, nor ever will be as wondrous as the hands of man. What it produces has no element of surprise or feeling that an object made by hand may have; it leaves no room for change.

Video of Sam Maloof speaking on his approach to design. If you do not see the video below click here.


Laura Ottina said...

Thanks, what beautiful furniture! Soulful indeed.

John Hedge said...

His work is gorgeous. I was lucky enough to see it in San Diego a few years ago at Balboa Park. I just picked up a Kofod Larsen Rocking Chair that reminds me of some of his pieces.

Laguna Dirt said...

This is a gorgeous and informative post!! I linked to it on my post on a recent tour of his home and garden on Laguna Dirt. ( Thanks!!