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Award of Distinction Ceremony & Luncheon

Saturday, Jun 10 12:45 – 2:15 in Audubon Room at the Danna Student Center - Loyola University

Please join us for this special luncheon to celebrate Michael Puryear and all his accomplishments as this year’s 2023 Award of Distinction recipient.

Michael Puryear Headshot

The Furni­ture Society is proud to present the 2023 Award of Distinc­tion to Michael Puryear in recog­ni­tion of his life­time achieve­ment in the studio furni­ture arts. Michael is a nation­ally-recog­nized designer,​furni­ture maker, and educa­tor whose work has been exhib­ited at The Museum of Art and Design, The Mint Museum and the Peabody Essex, to name a few. His work can be found in many major collec­tions — most recently the Smith­son­ian Museum of African-Amer­i­­­can Museum of History & Culture.

Michael Puryear exem­pli­fies the​“ethical maker” of furni­ture, who has quietly advo­cated through his own example by produc­ing subtle, elegant furni­ture for over 40 years. Emblem­atic of his influ­ence is the Smithsonian’s Museum of African Amer­i­can History and Culture acqui­si­tion of Puryear’s Dan Chair. Made from wood harvested from Monti­cello and Mt. Vernon, the design drawing upon forms from the West African Dan people, the chair acknowl­edges the cruel history of slavery while cele­brat­ing the contri­bu­tions of unnamed African Amer­i­can crafts­men in the build­ing of America. Through his work and his example, Michael power­fully expresses pride in his ances­try and speaks to the profound impact of African Amer­i­can makers on Amer­i­can culture.” 2023 AoD Jurors Chair, Craig Nutt with Edward S. Cooke, Alison Croney Moses, and Toni Sikes

The Award of Distinc­tion was estab­lished to recog­nize outstand­ing achieve­ment for the advance­ment of the art of contem­po­rary furni­ture-making by an indi­vid­ual or insti­tu­tion. The award was intended to strengthen the fabric of The Furni­ture Society’s commu­nity by naming and cele­brat­ing its aesthetic and intellectual leaders.

Fellow artist Seán Breen will present Michael with his award created by Fred Rose

Learn more about Michael:

Michael Puryear: An Inte­grated Life by Nancy Hiller — Lost Art Press

Michael Puryear: Docu­men­ta­tion in Design and Mate­ri­als by Seph Rodney — Amer­i­can Craft Council

Contri­bu­tions to the Award of Distinc­tion program enhance The Furni­ture Soci­ety’s Educa­tional Grants offer­ing finan­cial assis­tance to TFS members for professional development.

We hope you will consider support­ing this worthy cause in Michael’s honor!