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Revered as the “Dean of American Craftsmen,” Wharton Harris Esherick played a pivotal role in establishing the American Studio Furniture Movement. A visionary in the truest sense, Esherick was the first craftsman to approach furniture as sculpture -- a notion that influenced an entire generation of designer-craftsmen, including Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Sam Maloof, and Wendell Castle (read more about Wendell Castle and his latest work).

A trained painter and printmaker, Esherick’s fascination with wood began in 1920, when he started carving designs on the frames for his paintings. Soon, he was carving woodcuts and crafting sinuous organic sculptures, furniture, and architectural interiors...

Continue reading this article about Wharton Harris Esherick at Moderne Gallery on

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Wendell Castle is a living legend. Widely considered the father of the American studio furniture  movement, Castle has spent more than five decades exploring the boundaries between fine art and craft, form and function. Astonishingly prolific and ceaselessly experimental, Castle’s sculptural designs have profoundly affected how we view furniture today.

Born in Kansas in 1932, Castle earned a  BFA in Industrial Design and a MFA in Sculpture from the University of Kansas. After graduating in 1961, he moved to Rochester, New York, where he established a permanent studio and began teaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) School for American Craftsmen. Along with iconic designers and furnituremakers, including  George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, Wharton Esherick, and Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Castle helped shape the studio furniture movement throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Visit to read more about the Wendell Castle exhibit at Friedman Benda.

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Friday, 18 January 2013 13:00

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Receives Major Gift

Renowned art collector, Daphne Farago, announced that she will donate 161 works from her stunning collection to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A longtime supporter of the MFA, Farago’s contribution is the largest gift of contemporary craft the museum has ever received and will greatly improve a once-lacking part of the collection.

Farago’s gift features works from the 20th and 21st centuries by artists such as Dale Chihuly (b. 1941), Sam Maloof (1916-2009), and John Cederquist (b. 1946). The pieces range from works of fiber, ceramics, glass, woodcarvings, and metal to furniture, jewelry, basketry, and folk art. The newly acquired works, man of which have remained out of public view until now, will be exhibited in the museum’s Farago Gallery beginning in August 2013.

This is the third major donation from Farago and her late husband, Peter to the MFA; their contributions total $2.5 million to $5 million in art and money, which prompted the museum to open the Farago Gallery in September 2011 as part of the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. Edward Saywell, Chair of the Linde Family Wing, said, “Although the MFA has a distinguished history of collecting and exhibiting contemporary craft, this gift broadens and deepens our holdings in truly significant ways. The gift will be a touchstone for the collection and will be a remarkable legacy.”  

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