Please join us for this special luncheon to celebrate Michael Puryear and all his accomplishments as this year’s 2023 Award of Distinction recipient.
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
Michael Puryear: An Integrated Life by Nancy Hiller — Lost Art Press
Michael Puryear: Documentation in Design and Materials by Seph Rodney — American Craft Council