Sam Maloof
American, 1916-2009

In the 1960s furniture designer and master woodworker Sam Maloof was offered $22 million for the rights to mass-produce his work. He turned the offer down. A firm believer in the power of the handmade, Maloof was a leader in the California modern art movement. His sleek, minimal, and organic designs—joined using no nails or metal hardware—were included in the experimental Case Study Houses built around Los Angeles between 1945 and 1966 by progressive architects like Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, and Eero Saarinen, and his iconic rocking chair found a home at the White House. In 1985 he became the first craftsman to be awarded a MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellowship; he preferred to simply refer to himself as a woodworker until his death.

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