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2016 Award of Distinction Recipient

Educa­tor, Historian

The Furni­ture Society proudly bestowed its coveted 2016 Award of Distinc­tion upon Edward Cooke. His award was presented at a luncheon cere­mony in June 2016 during the Furni­ture Society’s confer­ence in Philadelphia.

Ned Cooke

The schol­arly focus of Edward S. Cooke, Jr. (b.1954 in Orange, NJ), who is the Charles F. Mont­gomery Profes­sor of Amer­i­can Deco­ra­tive Arts in the Depart­ment of the History of Art at Yale Univer­sity, New Haven, CT, is Amer­i­can mate­r­ial culture and deco­ra­tive arts. His work on modern craft includes his role as found­ing co-editor of The Journal of Modern Craft as well as his role as co-curator and co-author of six seminal exhi­bi­tions and accom­pa­ny­ing cata­logues on contem­po­rary furni­ture: New Amer­i­can Furni­ture (Museum of Fine Arts, 1989); Inspir­ing Reform: Boston’s Arts and Crafts Move­ment (Davis Museum, Welles­ley College, 1997); Wood Turning in North America Since 1930 (Yale Univer­sity Art Gallery, 2001); The Maker’s Hand: Amer­i­can Studio Furni­ture, 1940 – 1990 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2003); and Inspired by China: Contem­po­rary Furni­ture­mak­ers Explore Chinese Tradi­tions (Peabody Essex Museum, 2006). He also contributed to Furni­ture by Wendell Castle, with Joseph Giovan­nini and Davira Taragin (Founder’s Society of the Detroit Insti­tute of Arts, 1989).

In addi­tion to his abun­dant publi­ca­tion record and breadth of schol­arly inves­ti­ga­tion, Profes­sor Cooke served as a two-term trustee of the Furni­ture Society during its early, forma­tive years, and has spoken at many Furni­ture Society confer­ences since their inception.