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2012 Award of Distinction Recipient

Furni­ture Maker, Educator

The Furni­ture Society proudly bestowed its coveted 2012 Award of Distinc­tion upon Rosanne Somer­son. Her award was presented at a luncheon cere­mony on June 15, 2012 during the Furni­ture Society’s confer­ence in Port­land, Maine, by her colleague John Dunni­gan, head of the Depart­ment of Furni­ture Design, Rhode Island School of Design.


In addi­tion to her current posi­tion as RISD Interim Provost for the 2011-12 acad­e­mic year, Rosanne was Interim Asso­ciate Provost for Acad­e­mic Affairs from 2005 to 2007. Previ­ously, she served as Profes­sor and Head of the Depart­ment of Furni­ture Design, which she helped form in 1995, and, from 1985 to 1995, she ran the MFA Grad­u­ate Program in Furni­ture Design in Industrial Design.

Since 1978, Rosanne has main­tained her own design studio, where she creates furni­ture for exhi­bi­tion and by commis­sion. She also is a partner in DEZCO Furni­ture Design LLC, a produc­tion furniture company.

Rosanne’s work has been exhib­ited at the Museum of Deco­ra­tive Arts of the Louvre, Paris, and many other major inter­na­tional museums and galleries. Her work is featured in numer­ous books and publi­ca­tions. It is included in private, corpo­rate and museum collec­tions, notably the Smith­son­ian Amer­i­can Art Museum, Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Yale Univer­sity Art Gallery; Huntsville (AL) Museum of Art; Fuller Craft Museum, Brock­ton, MA; The Smith College Museum of Art and the Museum of Art, RISD. Rosanne has lectured through­out the world, served on panels and juries, and appeared on videos and TV segments.