2007 Award of Distinction Recipient
Mr. Fortune’s award was presented June 22, 2007 jointly by Alan Elder, Canadian Museum of Civilization’s Curator of Canadian Crafts, Decorative Arts and Design; and by Edward S. Cooke, Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts, Department of the History of Art, Yale University.
Michael Fortune’s furniture has been described as contemporary with a strong historical influence. Working primarily in wood, he draws inspiration from many forms, whether it is an historical vase or a leaf from nature. His Number One Chair, a piece he has reproduced over 350 times, includes, among others, the influences of Frank Lloyd Wright, Hans Wegner, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Michael is acknowledged for both his technical and design expertise, honed over 30 years through sketching, making scale models and building full-size prototypes. His is a marriage of individual design and production-oriented methods, of taking what is difficult and making it simple and efficient to build.
Michael has found a broad degree of social and economic relevance to his work as a designer and technical consultant on projects in third world countries that employ local people to manufacture wood products. Typically sponsored by international aid agencies or private parties, these projects provide sustainable economic opportunities from materials (woods) native to the region.
For his many contributions to the field of studio furniture and his lifetime achievement in this arena, The Furniture Society was pleased to present its 2007 Award of Distinction to Michael Fortune.