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Maloof Exhibit Mounted in California

comments (10) January 13th, 2012 in blogs

Ed_Pirnik Ed Pirnik, Senior Web Producer
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Fans of furnituremaker Sam Maloof wont want to miss a new exhibit in southern California.
Maloofs shop in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Maloofs shop in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Fans of furnituremaker Sam Maloof wont want to miss a new exhibit in southern California. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Fans of furnituremaker Sam Maloof won't want to miss a new exhibit in southern California.

Now through January 30, Fine Woodworking readers in southern California are in for a real treat. San Marino's Huntington Library is currently exhibiting "The House That Sam Built," a gathering of 35 works by legendary woodworker Sam Maloof.

Of course, for any of us "mere mortals," 35 pieces of furniture might seem like a sizable collection, worthy of praise. For Sam Maloof, it was a mere drop in the bucket. So prolific was the father of the modern rocker, that at the time of his death in 2009, he still had a six year backlog of orders. Pretty lofty ambitions considering that Maloof passed away at the age of 93!

For an extensive overview of the exhibit, be sure to visit the Wall Street Journal. If Jeremy Hildreth's review in the paper's Arts & Entertainment section doesn't quite quench your thirst for all-things-Maloof, Fine Woodworking's array of Maloof retrospectives might just do the trick.

More on Maloof

Sam Maloof's First Commission
I'd been working as a graphic artist since I got out of high school; I was 32 and we had a baby. I'd made furniture for myself and my parents using night-school facilities. And I got this offer from an interior decorator to furnish a dining room. The hardest part....
read more
Sam Maloof on Building Chairs
What do I use to shape the arm of a chair? The best tool for the job. I don't get hung up on usingl all power tools or all hand tools. If you get too mechanized, you have to design around the capabilities of the machines, and your furniture won't have....
read more
Sam Maloof Celebrates 90 Years
Sam Maloof has reason to celebrate his 90th birthday. He is the most recognized living furnitur emaker, the most copied, and is still healthy enough to work a full shift in his workshop, six days a week....
read more
Sam Maloof: Reflections on a Master Maker
Over the course of a sixty-year career, Sam Maloof became one of the two or three most prominent custom furnituremakers in the world. He was best known for his rocking chairs, with their sculpted joints and swooping lines....
read more
Sam Maloof: 1916-2009
Celebrated woodworker and furniture icon Sam Maloof died Thursday at his home near Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. He was 93. To this audience, Maloof needs no introduction or historical summary. His signature sculpted woodwork, best illustrated by his famous rocker, is immediately recognizable....
read more

posted in: blogs, maloof, exhibit, rocker, sam maloof, rocking chair

Comments (10)

Marty_Backe Marty_Backe writes: My wife and I spent the afternoon at the Huntington today, the last day of the exhibit. It was a kick that they had one of his chairs that you could sit in. Very comfortable.

I wonder what Sam would think to see a bunch of his chair patterns hanging on the wall in a museum?

The Huntington also has a Green & Green exhibit, including a large collection of furnishings from the Gamble house. They also have a Maloof rocker on permanent display.

Here's some pictures that I took that show most of the collection:
Posted: 1:36 am on January 30th

tagco tagco writes: I went to the exibit while visiting friends in Pasadena over the New Year holidays.
Very impressive.. My bucket list Number 1 is a Maloog rocker.
My friends, not woodworkers, and had never heard of Maloof were also very impressed....
Posted: 6:29 pm on January 20th

jacko9 jacko9 writes: I attended a weekend seminar with Sam about 20 years ago at UC Berkeley and still have fond memories of this incredible man. I went home and promptly made one of his table designs and have been using parts of his design concepts for the past two decades. The thing I was most astonished with is Sam's ambition and his work ethic. The world has been a better place with people like Sam Maloof!
Posted: 9:13 pm on January 15th

fdguarino fdguarino writes: If you are traveling a long distance to the area for this, you may also want to check out Sam Maloof's house/museum which is about an hour away from the Huntington Library:

Closer to the Huntington Library in Pasadena is the Gable House, which also offers tours, designed by architects Greene & Greene:

Posted: 2:45 pm on January 15th

Mikecorwin Mikecorwin writes: The real treat of the exhibit is the "hands on" room, where you are encouraged to touch everything, including his sculpted arm templates and different stages of shaped pieces of walnut. Also, you get to sit in the amazing Fiddleback Maple chair, which is an incredible experience!
Posted: 2:37 pm on January 15th

JackTaraz JackTaraz writes: I am an avid woodworker for the last 40 years.I lived in SoCal from 1982 to 2003, and I never once visited the Gamble House OR Sam Maloof's shop/home. I regret that terrible, as I now live in Florida. You cannot get much further than that.
Posted: 7:33 pm on January 14th

Martyk Martyk writes: This exhibition is hardly breaking news. It has been open since September 2011 and is over at the end of this month (Jan. 2012). FWW editors could have informed its readership in a more timely fashion of this exhibition. Don't you folks get press releases or do regular web searches for things like this?
Posted: 10:46 am on January 14th

DustySawbuck DustySawbuck writes: Next weekend my wife and I will be joining another couple and driving over 100 miles just to visit the Sam Maloof exhibition at the Huntington Museum. We have been planning this since early December and the women are looking forward to this exploration as much as the men. Something about the fluid curves and the subtle beauty of his pieces appeals to both genders. A few years ago in San Diego's Balboa Park, my wife and I were browsing and admiring the architecture of the beautiful buildings. We turned a corner and discovered an exhibit of Maloof furniture that was on loan from various local owners. There was a music stand, a love seat, dining tables, and of course, rocking chairs. We spent a couple memorable hours in that small exhibit and I felt like we had just won the lottery, and we didn't have a camera! Next week, we will at the door of the museum when it opens and I just bought an extra battery for my new camera.
Posted: 10:39 am on January 14th

rmswoodworks rmswoodworks writes: My wife and I just took our honeymoon in San Diego. While there she surprised me with a trip to Sam Maloof's house and shop. The tour was great. We were encouraged to touch much of the furniture in the house. The spiral staircase was incredible. Larry White gave us a tour of the shop and showed us chairs in different stages of production. The next day we went to the Huntington to see the display. The chair was very comfortable. We also spent three hours that same day by ourselves on a private tour of the Gamble House with Jon Hamm.
Posted: 8:30 pm on January 13th

bbrozo bbrozo writes: I visited the exhibit last October during the Pasadena Heritage's Craftsman Weekend and, have to say, it was the highlight of my trip. I must have spent a good hour or more viewing all of the pieces on display and, of course, sitting in one of his chairs. I strongly recommend the exhibit to anyone who happens to be in the area. You won't be disappointed.
Posted: 11:54 am on January 13th

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