top of page

Sam Maloof, 'woodworker'

Sam Maloof is perhaps most famous for his rocking chairs, though they account for a just a part of his fame. Sam  (January 24, 1916 – May 21, 2009) was a furniture designer and woodworker at new jersey, the first craftsman to receive a MacArthur fellowship. Maloof's work is in the collections of several major American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Described by the N.Y. Times as "a central figure in the postwar American crafts movement", presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan owned rockers. He was described by the Smithsonian Institution as "America's most renowned contemporary furniture craftsman", but his business card always said "woodworker"

"I like the word," he told a Los Angeles Times reporter, his eyes smiling behind his signature large, owl-eyed glass frames. "It's an honest word." 

bottom of page